Cost of living: Most London homes fail to meet energy efficiency standard
The government is considering bringing in a minimum standard for energy efficiency for homes.
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More than half the recently inspected private rental homes in London would fail to meet a proposed new energy efficiency standard, an investigation has found.
Out of 1.9 million inspections of homes over the past five years, over one million fell below the C grade on Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), graded from A to G, the BBC has found.
The government is considering proposals that would require landlords to hold at least a C-rating for all new tenancies from 2025. EPCs measure efficiency by looking at how well a property is insulated, glazed and heated.
In seven London boroughs, more than 60% of private rentals fail to meet the C grade: Waltham Forest, Haringey, Enfield, Bexley, Havering, Croydon, and Barking and Dagenham.
On average, private tenants inspected in the past five years could save a third on their current heating costs if their landlords made all the recommended improvements - a well as reducing the country’s use of fossil fuels.
The analysis also found more than a quarter of renters were using portable heaters as a secondary source of warmth in their homes. However, the research found many landlords would not be able to bring their properties up to a grade C even if they wanted to.
That is because one in twenty inspections in privately rented properties found the home would not be able to reach grade C because of structural limitations.
Energy efficiency standards worsen
The proportion of inspections where the property fell below a C-rating has fallen 19 percentage points since 2013-17. However, the Carbon Trust said change was not happening fast enough to hit net-zero carbon emission targets by 2050.
The situation in owner-occupied properties is broadly similar, with the average property grade in England and Wales for existing homes being a D, according to the Office for National Statistics.
However, in the government proposals, homeowners would not be required to bring their properties up to a grade C for at least another decade.
Landlords told the BBC there was “a lot of misunderstanding and uncertainty” about what was required of them.
The government said it would respond to its consultation in due course in a way that was “fair and proportionate” to landlords and tenants.
London privately rented properties
|Local authority||Inspections rating properties below C in 2018-2022||Inspections 2018-22 where property could not achieve a "potential" C rating|
|Barking and Dagenham||60%||3%|
|Richmond upon Thames||59%||8%|
|Kingston upon Thames||57%||7%|
|Kensington and Chelsea||52%||7%|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||50%||6%|
|City of London||45%||14%|
Energy efficiency facts and figures
- Out of 1.9 million lettings given EPC ratings in England and Wales over the last five full years (2018-22), 1.1 million, or 57%, were graded below a C.
- Some 5% of privately rented properties did not have the potential to reach grade ‘C’, according to assessors.
- A quarter of renters were using portable heaters as a secondary source of warmth in their homes.
- Insulation was the most frequently recommended improvement measure for private rental properties, making up 35% of all recommendations.
- Inspections of rental properties in the last five years found, on average, occupants could save almost a third (32%) on their current heating costs if their landlords made all the recommended improvements.
- London boroughs and coastal areas made up 9 of the top 10 local authorities by proportion of properties that did not have the potential to reach grade C.