In 2005 the Kyoto protocol was agreed by the majority of the world’s leaders to tackle the rising problem of Climate Change, Global warming and carbon emissions due to the large scale use of fossil fuels. Industry, transport and domestic heating were identified as the main contributors and where immediate action was required in addition to behaviour change.
In the UK there are 25 million properties from which upto 7.8million buildings are solid wall properties predating in many cases over 100 years old. These properties are particularly energy inefficient and produce many millions of tonnes of carbon due to the levels of energy they consume in order to heat them.
Acting to improve the energy efficiency of housing and building stock is increasingly a priority to successive UK Governments and is going to become a legal requirement. Private sector landlords under legislation such as the Energy Act 2011 and the Home Energy Conservation Act 2013 will be obligated to improve the energy efficiency performance of their properties in relation to measures to address energy consumption.
One of the key policies in the act was that by 2018, properties belonging to landlords both social and private would have to have an energy performance rating of 'E' or above. If this was not achieved it could lead to the property not being permitted for let and penalties being bestowed on the landlord.
Assistance and funding is available through the Green Deal, which allows households to pay for energy efficiency measures through fuel bill savings generated by these measures. This scheme is underpinned by the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO), which provides funding support for some low income households and for installing more expensive measures such as hard-to-treat cavity, external and internal wall insulation. ECO is essentially £1.7bn that has been provided by the energy companies and is available until March 2017.
When these funds have been depleted, or those properties not insulated to the required standard, landlords may still be required by law to take the necessary steps to have the energy saving measures applied to make them energy efficient.
There are other sources of financial support available such as the Renewable Heat Incentive and Feed in Tariffs which enable landlords and tenants to enjoy the benefits of renewable energy generated on site.