The British Property Federation (BPF) has broadly welcomed plans to introduce energy efficiency quotas from 2018 in the private rented sector.

However, the BPF also warned of ‘significant consequences’ if capacity in the energy efficiency sector is not increased to meet demand.

The BPF was responding to comments made by energy and climate change secretary, Chris Huhne, who last week announced changes at the second reading of the Energy Bill.

Under plans outlined by Mr Huhne from April 2018 it will be illegal to rent out a business or domestic premise with less than an ‘E’ energy efficiency rating.

And, from April 2016 landlords will not be able to refuse reasonable requests from tenants, or local authorities acting on behalf of tenants, to improve their property.

Mr Huhne said: “The Government has made it clear renting out dangerously cold and draughty homes is unacceptable – landlords will have to improve their properties or face prosecution.”

British Property Federation director of policy, Ian Fletcher, said: “We welcome the recognition that there simply isn’t the capacity in the energy efficiency supply sector to expect change overnight and hence why the Minister has plumped for 2018.

“This seems reasonable for the private rented sector, but if the capacity does not come on stream or the Green Deal fails there will be significant consequences in terms of reducing housing supply and potentially poor works if there is a last minute rush.”

Previous drafts of the Energy Bill were proposing a more cautious approach which relied on a review in 2013/14 to check progress.

If that is dispensed with Mr Fletcher added that the Government is obviously ‘pursuing a riskier strategy’.

Luke Walsh

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