CLA calls on Government to fix energy efficiency assessment failings

11 March 2015

The CLA has renewed its call for Government to improve how a property’s energy efficiency is measured, after the case for change was underlined yesterday by new research findings.

The CLA, which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses, repeated its appeal after research from BRE found that up to 500,000 properties could be incorrectly categorised as below required standards once minimum energy performance regulations come into force in 2018.

The findings of the research, which was commissioned by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), raise questions ahead of Government’s legally binding target that from 1 April 2018 private landlords will be required to ensure a minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ‘Grade E’ standard in order to let their property.

CLA President Henry Robinson said: “For a number of years the CLA has been leading the call for new EPC methodology to be established, so that traditional buildings can be judged fairly for the 2018 minimum energy performance requirements. The new research provides further evidence that Government must review EPC methodologies if the drive for a sustainable rural housing stock is to have genuine effect.”

The BRE report suggested that uninsulated walls perform better than is assumed in the current methodology for a property’s EPC rating. It also suggested that insulated cavity walls perform worse than current assumptions. 

Mr Robinson added: “The potential for inaccurate EPC classification is particularly relevant for landlords of rural properties, which are generally older and therefore solid wall insulation is often an inappropriate energy efficiency measure. Incorrect classification could exacerbate existing problems with diminished rental housing stock in rural areas.”