Energy Efficiency Campaign


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Privately rented properties in England and Wales currently require an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of at least an E. The UK Government has consulted on increasing this minimum to an EPC C rating for new tenancies from 2025 and all tenancies from 2028.  

These standards are likely to continue to increase in line with the Government’s legal commitment to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. With the average cost of upgrading a property to an A rating estimated at upwards of £30,000, there is a significant challenge for the sector over the coming decades. 

We campaign for solutions to enable landlords across the country to upgrade their properties in anticipation of future regulations and support landlords to be proactive in decarbonising the sector. 

Our Campaign

The NRLA is calling for:

1. More targeted funding and financing for landlords that isn’t related to property value and doesn’t penalise those who have been proactive in taking measures; accounting for properties with features that make energy efficiency installations more challenging. Landlords who have been proactive in making investments to increase the EPC rating of their properties should not be prevented from accessing future funding and finance.  

2. Reduce cost through tax efficiency. We are calling for energy efficiency measures carried out by a landlord to be considered as revenue expenditure and offset against tax at the point of spend as with repair and maintenance.  

3. Building Renovation Passports to replace EPC system to help owners access decision useful information to retrofit their homes. This will ensure there is accurate information about the measures already installed helping landlords identify what further works can be made to properties. This would ensure properties are correctly rated, with a clear trajectory for improvement, and benefit tenants in understanding their home.   

Why are we campaigning on this issue?

The Government’s strategy is to tackle fabric first, then heating systems, and finally renewables. These plans are part of efforts to tackle climate change and meet the legal target to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. 

There is cross party support to reach net-zero, however there is debate over the best way to achieve this over the coming decades.  

Despite the early closure of the Green Homes Grant scheme in March 2021, the Government is still committed to spending £9.2 billion to improve the energy efficiency of homes, schools and hospitals - as stated in the 2019 Conservative party manifesto. 

With the recent publication of the Energy White Paper, the announcement of the planning bill in the recent Queen’s Speech, and both the heat and building strategy and planning reform expected soon, the NRLA are using this opportunity to lobby government on how future grant schemes can provide a better route to deliver the Government ambition to decarbonise. 

What we're doing

The NRLA is supportive of energy efficiency in the PRS and work with both the UK and Welsh governments to find long-term solutions to reducing carbon emissions. 

  • We are working with external partners on research to define the scale of the challenge of decarbonising homes in areas with low property values, the potential impact on the private rented sector, and recommendations for policy changes to address this challenge. 

  • Recently we submitted a paper to Ministers and the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) on the learnings from the scrapping of the Green Homes Grant scheme and made recommendations for future schemes that will work both for landlords and help the Government reach their ambitious targets.

  • We’ve conducted research with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme among their registered landlords to better understand landlords recent and future energy efficiency investment in their property portfolios and help inform future Government lobbying.

  • Inform landlords of future energy efficient measures, by providing advice, webinars, resources and guides to make it as easy as possible for our members to make these improvements.  

  • Consistently calling for further funding and finance to be made available to help landlords to go above and beyond the legal minimum of energy efficiency measures set out by the Government for the PRS. 

  • We work with the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Welsh Government on energy efficiency and carbon reduction policy, legislation and initiatives. 

Latest articles

Blog: Energy efficiency & VAT - the case for zero rating

Retrofit is arguably the greener option for reaching net zero. Why then is the practice of "demolish and rebuild" encouraged by the tax system? The answer, or at least one of them, appears to be VAT. We make the case for zero rating VAT on energy efficiency measures.

Insights and Opinions Chris Norris 29/11/2021
Blog: Energy efficiency & VAT - the case for zero rating

Blog: Energy efficiency - how to account for regional variations?

In the second post in our blog series on future changes to minimum energy efficiency standards, we make the case for targeting central government funding to areas with lower property values, and utilising tax incentives to create a sales market for properties which need significant energy efficiency upgrades.

Insights and Opinions Meera Chindooroy 22/11/2021
Blog: Energy efficiency - how to account for regional variations?

Blog: Energy efficiency & the cost cap - why new regulations must be flexible

The Government's response to their consultation on Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards is expected later this year. In the first of a series of blogs, we explore the impact of the proposed new cost cap of £10,000, and how the NRLA is arguing for a flexible approach across the country.

Insights and Opinions Chris Norris 15/11/2021
Blog: Energy efficiency & the cost cap - why new regulations must be flexible

Clarity Needed on Rental Housing Energy Efficiency Measures, says NRLA

A piecemeal approach risks undermining efforts to improve the energy efficiency of the private rented sector, according to the NRLA.

Industry News Sam Hunter 20/10/2021
Clarity Needed on Rental Housing Energy Efficiency Measures, says NRLA

Green Homes Grants: What went wrong? What went right?

Whilst the long-term target of government is to enable more than 600,000 homes in England to become more energy efficient, the GHG voucher scheme made only a modest contribution to meeting that target. However the scheme's failings and resultant low take-up does not negate the need for a scheme. The conclusion from the evidence presented here is that for those landlords who wished to address EPC levels, the GHG voucher provided invaluable support.

Special Report Nick Clay 10/09/2021
Green Homes Grants: What went wrong? What went right?

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Your story can help us illustrate that landlords are keen to make their properties more energy efficient, the challenges you are facing in doing this, and that the government can help accelerate this process through future well-targeted initiatives. Share your story with us below. 

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Related documents

Learn more about Energy Performance Certificates which rate a property's energy efficiency on a scale of A-G 

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards made it a legal requirement for all privately rented properties to have an EPC rating of at least an 'E' in England and Wales 

Landlords’ guide to energy bills and smart meters

The NRLA paper on Greening the Private Rented Sector submitted to Ministers and civil servants.