Energy efficiency in buildings
A recent consultation which proposes more stringent energy efficiency standards for rented properties.
Education institutions will by now be well versed in dealing with Minimum Energy Efficiency standards in buildings.
As of April 2018 it has been unlawful to grant a new lease or renew an existing lease of residential or commercial property with an Energy Performance Certificate (“EPC”) rating of “F” or “G”. Such ratings are called “substandard” under the statutory regime.
Further important changes in relation to properties with substandard EPC ratings are outlined below. Whilst there are exemptions, a landlord may not in relation to such properties:
- Continue to let a domestic private rented property after 1 April 2020; or
- Continue to let a non-domestic private rented property after 1 April 2023.
However, the government started a consultation late last year regarding further tightening up of the regime for non-domestic private rented property. In short, the consultation has sought views on two alternative targets:
- All non-domestic private rented properties to achieve a minimum EPC rating of B by 1 April 2030, if cost effective (“Band B target”); or
- All non-domestic private rented properties to achieve a minimum EPC rating of C by 1 April 2030 (“Band C target”).
We understand that the government’s preferred target at the start of the consultation was the Band B target (the consultation ceased on 7 January 2020). The government has, since the consultation was launched, obtained an increased majority in the House of Commons at the recent General Election and whilst this may make a Band B target more likely, we cannot be sure of this.
In any event, institutions should prepare for the minimum EPC standard to rise and consider sooner rather than later the likelihood of works being needed to bring properties up to standard, the likely costs involved, and how these costs may be funded/recovered.
Details of the consultation can be found here.
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