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Michael Gove calls for delay in rented housing energy efficiency plans

Michael Gove

Housing secretary Michael Gove wants the government to ‘relax the pace’ of EPC reforms expected from private landlords.

In a Sunday Telegraph interview yesterday, following the Uxbridge by-election, Gove indicated that the timetable for changing minimum energy efficiency standards for private rented housing would be altered.

In January 2021 the government closed its consultation on minimum energy efficiency standards for private rented housing. It proposed that by April 2025 all new tenancies would need to be for properties with an energy performance rating of C or better and applied to all private rented housing by April 2028.

It also proposed a national cap on the amount landlords would need to contribute to improvements of £10,000.

But in a write up of an interview with the Housing Secretary, the Sunday Telegraph writes: “In his own policy area, Gove wants to relax the current rules that will ban landlords from renting out their homes unless they pay to increase the Energy Performance Certificate rating of their properties by 2028, which could include spending thousands on fitting a heat pump, insulation or solar panels.

“My own strong view is that we’re asking too much too quickly. We do want to move towards greater energy efficiency, but just at this point, when landlords face so much, I think that we should relax the pace that’s been set for people in the private rented sector, particularly because many of them are currently facing a big capital outlay in order to improve that efficiency.”

Ben BeadleResponding to comments by Gove, suggesting a delay to energy efficiency proposals for the private renter sector, Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, expressed concern.

He commented: “It is over two years since the government completed its consultation on energy efficiency standards in rented homes. As a result of the delay in responding to this, there was never any hope of meeting the originally proposed deadlines, as we told the Minister earlier this month.

“The NRLA wants to see properties as energy efficient as possible, but the sector needs certainty about how and when this will happen. Ministers need to develop a proper plan that includes a fair financial package to support improvements in the private rented sector. We will continue to work with all parties to develop pragmatic and workable proposals.”