The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has estimated that average private landlord will have to spend around £26,300 over the next 30 years to bring their properties up to carbon neutral status, the government’s target by 2050.
In a new report ‘UK housing: Fit for the future?’ the CCC has warned that the UK’s legally-binding climate change targets will not be met without the near-complete elimination of greenhouse gas emissions from UK buildings.
The report says that emissions reductions from the UK’s 29 million homes, which account for 14% of total UK emissions, have stalled, while energy use in homes had actually increased between 2016 and 2017.
The CCC’s report says that while the Government may ban gas connections to new properties as it is proposing to do, to reduce this, it is existing properties that pose the bigger problems. Many rental properties are of an older type and will be much more expensive to bring up to carbon neutral standards.
The Government has already stated its intention that private landlords meet a minimum EPC level of C by 2030, and it’s likely there will be further targets to meet the Government’s carbon emissions targets for 2050.
Emphasised was placed on the importance of the Treasury setting incentives to retrofitting of existing homes to ensure that they become “low-carbon and resilient to climate change.” Suggested improvements include heat pumps, loft and wall insulation, shading and ventilation, and property level flood protection.
Since April 1, 2018 Landlords in England and Wales need an EPC rating of E before they can begin new tenancies, with the requirement being enforced for all tenancies from April 2020.
The direction of travel is clear says the National Landlords’ Association (NLA): properties in the private rented sector will most likely need to reach an A rating within the next 25 years. The CCC’s projected cost will require landlords to plan for how they will do this.
Whilst there is no immediate concern to reach carbon neutrality given the timescales involved, it would be in landlords’ best interest to consider low-carbon alternatives as and when repairs or upgrades are required says the NLA. This would help spread the cost of undertaking works over the life-time of the property.
The Private Rented Property minimum standard – landlord guidance documents