Time to reform ‘flawed’ energy efficiency ratings scheme, says CLA

18 November 2016

A fresh review into the rules measuring the energy performance of homes must deliver reform of a system that discriminates against older properties and prevents them making the right energy efficiency investments, according to the CLA.

A consultation on the standard assessment procedure (SAP) which is used to assess the energy performance of homes has been launched by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The SAP assessment is used to produce energy performance certificates (EPCs) which are required for all properties when built, sold or let. They provide a rating and outline what can be done to improve the energy efficiency of the building. The EPC rating of a property is important as regulations are due to come into force from April 2018 which will make it illegal for a private landlord to let a property with a rating lower than E to a new tenant and to an existing tenant from April 2020.

CLA President Ross Murray said: “With new rules affecting all private landowners fast approaching, this review is vitally important and the reforms are urgently needed to mend a flawed system.

“The SAP methodology does not accurately measure the efficiency of the hundreds of thousands of homes that were built more than a century ago across the countryside. It also leads to the owners of these houses being compelled to make improvements that are not suitable for properties of that age and construction.

“Our members provide nearly 40% of all private rented housing in rural areas and these properties were predominantly built before 1919. Having an accurate way of measuring energy efficiency is vital, and it must be a system that encourages property owners to make the right investments to make them warmer and use less energy.”

Mr Murray said the CLA had previously called on the Government to better understand the unique nature of older rural properties and review the SAP methodology to reflect this.

He said: “We will respond to this review and make clear that without urgent change, the assessment criteria will continue to put at risk the unique nature of historic properties and further exacerbate the acute shortage of rural housing.”

The BEIS consultation closes on 27 January 2017. Read the proposed changes to Government’s standard assessment procedure (SAP) here