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Hywel Lloyd, Government Engagement Manager

Part of the Active Building Centre’s mission is to raise awareness of Active Buildings and their benefits, and provide information, evidence and data to inform future policy.

Raising standards in the private rental sector

In their recent consultation ‘Improving the energy efficiency of privately rented homes’ BEIS proposed greater urgency and action, with proposals to raise the energy performance certificate (EPC) of the sector to ‘C’ by 2028.  They focused on a fabric first approach; along with measures to support comprehensive delivery to a decent standard, e.g. by using TrustMarked tradespeople.  It is clear that these measures will raise the profile of delivery to a sector that has too little attention in the past.  We welcome the opportunity to help drive that forward, not least with our developing understanding of how we can upgrade the existing stock of homes, both for the benefit of the user, and the wider energy system; while also decarbonising homes.

From our specific perspective on the future of homes and energy we have highlighted that:

  • Measurement and analysis of energy use should proceed fabric, as to properly understand the energy uses of a building before measures are designed and deployed – that will often reinforce fabric first, yet there are properties where fabric improvement is limited and revising their energy technologies would be better
  • EPC C can only be a stepping-stone to higher in-use performance standards, given the underlying flaws in the EPC methodology, and limited building work compliance

We have begun to develop a set of Active Principles for Upgrades to the existing stock as the next step in our work programme.  The full response is available: Active Building Centre submission to BEIS Private Rental Sector Consultation