Over two million properties in the sector lack basic energy efficiency measures and risk being banned from the market in the coming years, research from Kamma reveals.
The geospatial technology company has sounded a warning to the industry as they launch a new resource designed to support landlords to comply with Minimum Energy Efficient Standards (MEES) and take steps towards Net Zero.
The free interactive site, Property Zero, takes users on a guided tour of the challenges of reducing property emissions and delivers a clear, four-step process to both compliance and Net Zero.
On a more challenging note, the data also reveals that many rental properties lack even basic measures. The key findings show:
Almost 3 million private rented sector (PRS) properties are still behind the Government’s aim to make all rental homes at least a rating of C
Over 2 million of these (69%) lack basic measures with almost 1.6 million (55%) needing to switch some or all of their lighting to low energy light bulbs, around 1.1 million (38%) lacking temperature controls, just over 450,000 (15%) needing basic draught-proofing and almost 350,000 (12%) requiring hot water cylinder insulation
Despite costing an average of just £255 per home, these simple improvements would immediately qualify 130,000 more rental properties for future MEES, save tenants almost £150 million a year in energy bills, and save the planet almost 674,000 tonnes in annual carbon emissions.
The improvements focus on reducing the emissions linked to existing devices, heating systems and lighting, rather than expensive upgrades.
Whilst the overall cost of compliance for the industry is high, they represent a cheaper, simpler first step. Each improvement requires just £15 to £400 in up-front investment and, collectively, deliver a big impact.
With the energy cap set to rise, squeezing household budgets, these improvements also offer a chance to save tenants money. For just a modest £255 average investment to address these issues a total of £53 would be wiped off the annual average fuel bill for these properties, or £74 if the energy price cap increases by 40% as expected.
This amounts to a saving of almost £150 million for PRS properties across the UK, and could reduce the risk of arrears as fuel price rises hit household budgets.
Kamma chief executive officer, Orla Shields, explains: “Government targets are to make all homes EER C where practical, cost-effective and affordable and yet, so far, the sector has not focussed enough on the most practical, cost-effective or affordable improvements.”
“Insulation, decarbonising the national grid and heat pumps are all vital steps in the fight against climate change, but there are cheaper, simpler first steps that a large number of landlords can take.”
With some progress made but far more to do, there is a real need to take a structured and data-driven approach.
Shields continues: “EPC data is freely available through various registers, but is often out of date and contains a number of inaccuracies which make it hard to base government policy, business strategy or homeowner decisions on. Kamma has corrected and published large amounts of this data in the hope that it leads to improved decisions and a faster route to Property Zero, carbon neutrality for UK housing.”