Energy Performance Certificate Standards 1st May 2017
The Scottish Government has been in consultation for some time regarding introducing a minimum energy efficiency standard for private rented sector (PRS) properties, as part of a 15 to 20 year energy efficiency programme (Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme, or SEEP). The aim of the programme is to improve the energy efficiency of homes with the overall aim of reducing climate change emissions and tackling fuel poverty. Research has shown that PRS housing are the least energy efficient of all housing tenures and therefore introducing minimum standards will benefit tenants.
The consultation also proposes changes to the Repairing Standard to bring it more in line with the condition standard required in social housing. Disrepair can reduce the value of energy efficiency improvements, hence the need to extend the Repairing Standard to improve the condition of PRS housing stock.
Current proposals are that every property meets a minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E at the point of rental from 1st April 2019, with all properties meeting the E standard by 31st March 2022. The consultation also proposes that the minimum rating requirement rise to D at the point of rental from 1st April 2022. All rental properties must have a minimum rating of D by 31st March 2025. The consultation proposes various exemptions and a cost cap of £5000 per property.
Regarding the Repairing Standard, the consultation proposes changes which would improve the safety standards and physical condition expected of properties. These include a requirement to meet the tolerable standard, have safe kitchens, adequate food storage space, fixed heating, lead free pipes, safe access to common facilities, safe and secure common doors, and add oil and other fuels to existing safety standards for gas and electricity. Other changes are proposed to make homes safer by reducing the risks from scalding, electrocution, asbestos, unwholesome water and the impact of noise. A five year lead in time is suggested for any changes to the Repairing Standard.
A link to the consultation is below and the deadline for responses is 30th June 2017.