New energy efficiency requirements for rental properties set to boost retrofit sector

Construction companies and builders’ merchants could be set to benefit as the government plans to implement new energy efficiency requirements for rental properties. Under the new Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS), it will become illegal for landlords to rent out properties that have energy efficiency ratings of F or G on the property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). By April 2018, all rental properties will have to fall under EPC bands of E or above, and from April 2016, landlords will have to accept reasonable requests from tenants to install energy efficiency measures.

MEPS legislation has been delayed for several years. It was first drafted in 2010, but the conservatives in the coalition government were reluctant to impose any additional regulations on the sector.

This legislation will be welcomed by the retrofit sector, which has suffered through a difficult few years due to ever-changing legislation and a reduction in grants and government support. This legislation aims to tackle the problem of energy inefficient homes in the rental sector – a key type of housing that has previously been overlooked by energy efficiency regulation.

The UK Green Building Council spoke out in support of the new measures. John Alker, acting chief executive of the UKGBC, said: ‘this could be the single most significant piece of legislation to affect our existing building stock in a generation, affecting a huge swathe of rented properties.’

There are some concerns that the measure could further inflate rental prices, but given that there are three years before the regulation comes into force, landlords have plenty of time to prepare for this legislation.

If retrofitting is part of your construction company’s repertoire, prepare yourself for increased demand. Use construction accounting software to keep track of your finances and automate tedious processes so that you can concentrate on the continued success of your company. 

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