Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced that no legislation will be introduced requiring property owners to make energy efficiency improvements, but extra money will be available to those who want to replace their gas boiler with a heat pump.
Energy efficiency to be incentivsied not mandated
Policies to force landlords to upgrade the EPC rating of their properties have been ruled out, although the UK Government will continue to encourage improvements. This provides some relief to hard-pressed landlords who have been worried by the potential investment needed to at a time when budgets are squeezed for everyone.
The uncertainty around these measures has been having a negative effect on the PRS for some time. In Propertymarks August 2023 report, Energy efficiency in UK property: Where to go from here?, they cited feedback from property agents that said the lack of communication and guidance from governments on energy efficiency regulations was the cause of confusion and stress across the sector.
Any future targets must be fully backed by legislation that incentivises and encourages people rather than penalising them.