Peers have rejected calls to set government targets for making properties more energy efficient, partly for fear of over-burdening the PRS.
During a debate in the House of Lords on the Energy Bill, Energy Security and Net Zero Minister Lord Callanan said an amendment placing a duty on the government to publish a plan for delivering specific targets on low-carbon heat and energy-efficient homes and non-domestic properties, as well as higher standards on new homes, was not necessary.
“We have already consulted on improving standards in the private rented sector and we continue to refine the policy design to ensure that the burden of energy-efficiency improvements is fair and proportionate for both landlords and tenants,” said Lord Callanan.
“This is not an easy area to legislate in, because we want to make sure that there is still a decent supply of rental properties in many parts of the country - already we are seeing landlords withdraw from the market, so it is an important policy to get right.”
Last week, his colleague Housing Minister Baroness Scott of Bybrook assured peers that plans to introduce rules to raise PRS properties from EPC band E to C were still on track for 2028.
Baroness Blake of Leeds, shadow energy and net zero spokesman, said her amendment would enable a plan to be in place, working to clear targets to reduce gas supply in homes by 25% and a 10-year programme to retrofit 19 million homes, costed at £6 billion, with local authority and a community base to deliver.
“Limited progress on energy-efficiency measures has been made worse by poor public information campaigns and the lack of a long-term plan with clear targets, clear technical explanations and little evidence of a financial and structural plan,” she added.
“We have to acknowledge a lack of grip, of urgency, and of serious explanation of the benefits of determined action.”