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Changes, always changes….

On 16 March 2011, the Energy Bill was introduced into the House of Commons with its First Reading. The Second Reading was delivered on 10 May.

The Energy Bill has been designed to provide for a step change in the provision of energy efficiency measures to homes and businesses, and make improvements to enable low carbon energy supplies and fair competition in the energy markets.

The Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne announced plans to introduce regulations to ensure that all landlords face minimum energy efficiency standards under the Green Deal.

At the Second Reading the proposals included amongst other things:

• 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;

• From April 2018 the government will make it unlawful to rent out a house or business premise which has less than an “E” energy efficiency rating, ensuring at least 682,000 properties will have to be improved.

The Green Deal is the coalition’s national plan of home improvements to make houses and businesses cheaper to run through better energy efficiency.

The proposals will help the most vulnerable as more than a quarter of a million of the worst insulated rented homes are classed as fuel poor.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne said:

“Our proposals provide a voice for tenants living in poorly insulated, draughty homes. The Green Deal is a win-win opportunity for landlords by removing the upfront cost of work to upgrade the property making it cheaper to run, more environmentally friendly and ultimately more attractive to rent.
For those landlords who don’t take up the Green Deal then we will get tough so that by 2018 the poorest performing rented housing stock is brought up to a decent standard.”

Measures may include financial support for landlords making the changes and incentives to get the work completed sooner rather than later. However the coalition government has not given any details on this aspect of the Green Deal, which will no doubt mean, many will be reluctant to begin the work until they do.

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