Hot water group says landlords must do more for efficiency

It says around a fifth of privately rented households in the UK struggling to pay their bills

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By Jonny Bairstow

Landlords must do more to improve the energy efficiency of their properties and help tackle fuel poverty.

That’s according to Stewart Clements, Director of the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC), in response to the government’s consultation on minimum energy efficiency levels in the private rented domestic sector.

This is where levels of fuel poverty are highest, with a fifth of households struggling to pay their bills.

The government recently announced proposals to amend regulations and introduce a landlord contribution element to ensure improvements to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Band F and G properties can be delivered, with a suggested cost cap of £2,500.

HHIC is calling for the cap to be increased to £5,000 – it says capping spending at £2,500 will only help around 85,000 houses reach EPC band E, whereas a cap of £5,000 would lift more than 120,000 to this level of efficiency.

Stewart Clements, Director of the HHIC, said: “A cap that allows for first-time central heating systems to be fitted is necessary because it is the best way to improve the EPC of a property.

“Landlords must begin to play a role in ensuring the houses they let are energy efficient and we encourage the government to be more ambitious in their plans for the private rented sector.”