In 2016, the Sustainable Energy Association launched a campaign to bring the whole of the existing housing stock up to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) band C.
We were therefore delighted to see the Government commit to upgrading all fuel poor homes in the Clean Growth Strategy. The Strategy stated that ‘we want all fuel poor homes to be upgraded to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Band C by 2030’. For fuel poor homes, the impact of living in a home with leaky walls or inefficient heating systems can be considerable and we welcome the Government’s commitment to improving the homes of the most vulnerable.
However, it is not just the homes of the fuel poor that need upgrading. Whilst these homes are most in need, the impact of leaky homes on energy bills and carbon emissions across the country is substantial. We were pleased to see that the Government has set out a phased approach to improving the housing stock in various documents with an aspiration ‘for as many homes as possible to be EPC Band C by 2035 where practical, cost-effective and affordable’. Whilst we welcome this aspiration, we believe that it should be enshrined in law and for this reason we are promoting the Domestic Properties (Minimum Energy Performance) Bill.
We have produced a short summary of commitments made by the Government regarding the EPC Band C targets and also the advice provided by the Committee on Climate Change on this issue.
Enshrining these two targets in law and requiring the Government to develop a more detailed plan of action would prevent any future government disregarding the target, would provide the certainty needed to trigger vital investment in the sector and would encourage innovation. The Bill, which was been introduced by Sir David Amess MP during the last Parliamentary session, had cross-party support from notable parliamentarians, including Sir Graham Brady and Sir Edward Davey. The Bill will now be introduced by Lord Don Foster.
The Domestic Properties (Minimum Energy Performance) Bill has two dimensions. Firstly, it requires the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to prepare a plan to bring all fuel-poor homes up to energy performance certificate band C by 2030 as set out in the Clean Growth Strategy. Secondly, it will address those not classified as fuel poor. We recognise that the task of addressing all properties is a more challenging one, so a staged approach has been taken with the target set in 2035 which is aligned with the Government’s own ambition. We have costed this and produced two balance sheets to demonstrate how the programme could be revenue neutral.
The Bill will also require the Minister to maximise new and innovative technologies and to consider how best they can be utilised to realise the Bill’s aims. The introduction of such a Bill will help to provide certainty to industry, to investors and to homeowners encouraging them to invest in low carbon, energy efficient and sustainable solutions.
The Bill has had its second reading and is progressing well. For more information, please contact one of the team at firstname.lastname@example.org
 Bill presented by Sir David Amess, Peter Aldous, Richard Benyon, Sir Graham Brady, Martyn Day, Sir Edward Davey, Mary Glindon, Carolyn Harris, James Heappey, Mr Bernard Jenkin, Dame Caroline Spelman and Daniel Zeichner.