Landlords dodging energy rules could cost UK millions
BRITAIN’S landlords could cost the energy system hundreds of millions of pounds by using loopholes in the Government’s housing standards to avoid improving energy efficiency.
Landlords are expected to file for exemptions from the forthcoming efficiency guidelines to avoid shouldering the expense of upgrading the country’s most poorly insulated homes, at a major cumulative cost to energy consumers who will pay for new power capacity through their bills.
By upgrading 300,000 homes at the lowest end of the energy efficiency scale, tenants could save £600 off each energy bill. This is the equivalent of £180m in savings on energy bills overall, and the cost of building a new gasfired power plant or two large offshore wind farms,
Joanne Wade, from the Association for the Conservation of Energy, said “the bigger prize” would be a move to include all homes under a C band of energy efficiency.
“The total annual energy savings would be the equivalent to turning the Drax coal plant off for eight months, or avoiding construction of 4GW of new capacity,” she told The Sunday Telegraph. She added that the energy savings could play a crucial role in tackling the growing discontent over rising energy costs – but new plans making it easier for landlords to invest in warmer homes would be required.
Under current regulation, landlords can apply for an exemption to standards if they cannot receive funding to undertake the work at no upfront cost. This rule was introduced alongside the Green Deal but, after scaling back the regime, Ms Wade has warned that landlords will find it easier to file for an exemption. Instead, it is suggested a maximum cost threshold of £600 should be set so landlords can undertake simple efficiency measures that could result in big energy savings.