Citizens Advice response to BEIS consultation on Improving the Energy Performance of Privately Rented Homes in England and Wales
We welcome the government's proposals for raising energy efficiency standards in rental homes. A target of EPC B and C, and the increased cost cap will help millions of tenants with their fuel bills. This proposal represents a significant step up in ambition needed to reach carbon and fuel poverty goals.
The success of the regulation will depend on the introduction of a suite of enforcement measures. Key among them is the introduction of a national landlord register, which will help local authorities efficiently and effectively take action against non-compliance. A national landlord register also has the potential to improve standards across the private rented sector (PRS) more generally, beyond just energy efficiency. Despite the size of this market, and the increasing cost of renting, renters do not receive the same level of protection as they do in other essential consumer markets, and many face bad outcomes.
Citizens Advice welcomes a cost cap of £10,000. The government should ensure that landlords have access to low or zero cost finance to reduce any negative impacts on housing availability and affordability. A £15,000 cost cap would go even further to achieve the aims of the regulation, but would need additional support to mitigate any impact on housing affordability.