The CLA has welcomed the government's climbdown on banning new oil boilers and setting energy efficiency targets for landlords.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has confirmed a number of changes to the government's net zero-related targets, in a win for the CLA's lobbying efforts.
The announcement means the installation of new oil boilers will not be banned from 2026, while landlords will no longer face fines if they fail to upgrade their properties to a certain level of energy efficiency.
Country Land and Business Association President Mark Tufnell said:
“We are pleased that government has listened to our concerns about rural properties. Some of these proposals were simply unachievable and counterproductive. What we need now is a clear roadmap towards the new decarbonisation goals, with support for low-carbon heating innovation and take-up.
“Due to the nature of their construction, many rural properties cannot be suitably upgraded. Forcing many landlords to spend at least £10,000 on works with no guarantee such investment would actually improve carbon emissions risked damaging the supply of rural housing during a cost of living crisis – we know many good, responsible landlords have already sold up.
“The proposed 2026 ban on off-grid oil boilers would have affected one million – largely rural – households, targeting the highest-hanging fruit first as it would have come nearly a decade before a similar ban on new gas boilers. While heat pumps are an option for some, they are not feasible or cost-effective for all.
“The CLA will continue to work with government to minimise the environmental impact of rural homes, recognising also the importance of a good housing supply to the rural economy and the communities that underpin it.”
Changes announced include:
- A five-year delay in the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars, meaning a requirement for all new cars to be "zero emission" will not come into force until 2035
- A nine-year delay in the ban on new fossil fuel heating for off-gas-grid homes to 2035
- Raising the Boiler Upgrade Grant by 50% to £7,500 to help households who want to replace their gas boilers
- The ban on the sale of new gas boilers in 2035 remains, but the government will introduce new exemption for poorer households
- Scrapping the requirement on landlords to ensure all rental properties had an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of grade C or higher, from 2025.