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Labour demands ‘cast-iron promise’ over PRS energy efficiency

Shadow energy minister Jonathan Reynolds has called for a “cast-iron promise” from the government to introduce a minimum energy efficiency standard for private rented homes by 2018.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Reynolds urged energy minister Greg Barker to pledge his support for a PRS energy performance certificate rating E by 2018.

He said: “The sector with the most energy-inefficient homes is without doubt the private rented sector, with thousands of people living in cold, inadequate homes that are expensive to heat.

“Caroline Lucas [Green Party MP] referenced the fact that the Energy Act placed a duty on the secretary of state to introduce a minimum standard for this sector from April 2018 at the latest. The secretary of state was worryingly equivocal in his answer.

“Will the minister therefore give a cast-iron promise today that this duty will be fulfilled, without loopholes and with the minimum standard at energy performance certificate rating E by 2018?”

Mr Reynolds’ call came after more than 30 organisations signed a joint statement seeking a standard to be put in place for PRS homes.

Signatories included, the UK Green Building Council, the Association for the Conservation of Energy, Energy Solutions and Age UK.

According to the UK-GBC out of the 22.8 million households in England in 2011, four million were privately rented.

Its findings also showed PRS has the highest proportion of the most energy inefficient homes, with 11 per cent in lowest energy performance certificate bands F and G. 

Last week, Construction News revealed that 26 developers had dropped out of the first phase of the government’s Build to Rent fund, aimed to boost the construction of PRS homes.

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