Generation Rent has labelled Rishi Sunak’s EPC upgrade U-turn as “cruel, disproportionate and reckless”, forcing many renters to suffer poor health in cold homes for years to come.
The campaign group is calling on all political parties to commit to raising MEES to Band C as soon as is practical, while tightening protections for tenants around evictions and rents, to assure them that they will benefit from the resulting energy savings.
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement, landlords are not obliged to agree to any insulation works, even if they are funded by government grants. Generation Rent’s research has shown that three in ten tenants are discouraged from applying for grants because of the expectation that their landlord will refuse them.
It adds that one in four private renter households is in fuel poverty, higher than in social housing and owner occupation. Meanwhile, think-tank E3G estimates that the scrapped policy would have saved private renters an average of £570 per household per year.
Dan Wilson Craw (main picture), Generation Rent’s deputy chief executive, says tenants in draughty homes pay hundreds of pounds more per year than they would if their home was insulated properly. “The government has made funding available to lift households out of fuel poverty, but it won’t reach enough people if landlords don’t have a clear responsibility to allow improvements,” he adds.
“In recognition of the tight timeline, the government could have delayed the new standards’ start date by a couple of years, but by scrapping new regulations entirely the government has made the situation worse.
"This cruel, disproportionate and reckless decision means renters will be living in cold homes that make them poorer and sicker for many more years to come.”