The Scottish Government has for some time been planning to introduce a minimum energy efficiency standard for PRS properties. The government has now published a consultation on improving the energy efficiency of all of Scotland’s dwellings and announced updated timescales for introducing a minimum standard in the PRS.
The overall aim is for PRS dwellings to have an EPC rating of C by 2030 where this is technically feasible and cost effective. Owner occupied properties will be expected to meet the same standard by 2040. Social housing already has legislation in place requiring it to meet an equivalent standard by 2020.
The government is planning to legislate in 2019 to introduce a minimum standard in the PRS. This will require properties to have at least an EPC rating of E at a change of tenancy from 1 April 2020 and in all properties by 31 March 2022; and to have an EPC rating of D at a change of tenancy from 1 April 2022 and in all properties by 31 March 2025. In some situations, there will be exceptions where a lower level or longer timescales will be acceptable, for example where it will not be cost effective to upgrade the property or where planning permission for upgrading work can’t be obtained. The government is proposing that the definition of a cost-effective measure is that one that pays back its cost in energy bill savings over its lifetime.
While costs to achieve the standards will vary across dwellings depending on their built form, fuel type, and current levels of heating system efficiency and insulation, the government estimates that the median cost in the private sector (i.e. for owner occupied and privately rented dwellings) will be in the region of £3,500, which means that half of dwellings can be upgraded at a cost of £3,500 or less.
The consultation can be read and responded to here. The deadline for responding is 27 July 2018.
A list of frequently asked questions and answers regarding the introduction of a minimum EPC standard for PRS properties can read here.
Source: Scottish Association of Landlords
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