Posts with tag: Green Homes Grant

More support needed for landlords to boost energy efficiency

Published On: February 25, 2021 at 9:14 am


Categories: Landlord News,Property News

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Ahead of the Budget on 3rd March, the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) is calling for tax reform to support energy improvements for rented homes.

This comes as MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee concluded last week that the delivery of the Government’s flagship Green Homes Grant scheme has been “poor”. It noted that the eligibility criteria for the scheme: “prevented many from being able to access vouchers for the measures they required.”

The NRLA highlights that 32% of properties in the private rental sector (PRS) were built before 1919, making it a huge challenge to improve energy efficiency compared with any other housing sector.

The Government has committed to upgrade as many PRS homes as possible to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Band C or better by 2030. Currently, 62% have an EPC rating of D or lower.

The NRLA is calling on the Chancellor to help achieve this by ensuring that the tax system actively supports landlords who want to make energy improvements. Ministers have proposed to increase the amount up to which landlords have to pay to make a property more energy efficient from £3,500 to £10,000.

According to Government data, the average gross rental income for landlords is £15,000 per year (before tax and other deductions). The NRLA is concerned that the impact of this change is likely to decimate the income of some landlords. It proposes that energy efficiency measures carried out by a landlord should be offset against tax at purchase, as repair and maintenance, rather than as an improvement at sale against Capital Gains Tax. This would address anomalies – for example, whilst replacing a broken boiler is tax-deductible, replacing an energy-inefficient model for a more efficient boiler or heating system is not.

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the NRLA, comments: “The rental market stands ready to play its part in securing a green recovery. However, to achieve this we need a tax system that properly supports and encourages the work needed to ensure rented homes as are energy efficient as possible on a long-term basis. The Green Homes Grant scheme proves that short term measures do not work.  

“The Chancellor needs to use tax more positively to encourage investment in energy improvements. This would play a crucial role in cutting bills for renters, reducing carbon emissions, and improving the nation’s housing stock.”

Green Homes Grant in urgent need of change, says NRLA

Published On: February 19, 2021 at 9:15 am


Categories: Landlord News,Property News

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The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has responded to concerns raised by the Environmental Audit Select Committee that money not spent on the Government’s Green Homes Grant scheme will not be rolled over to next year.

Meera Chindooroy, Deputy Policy Director for the NRLA, said: “Our own survey data shows that 43% of landlords are interested in applying for a grant and there is clear appeal in the potential of the scheme to ensure the energy efficiency improvements we all want to see. 

“Given that just 6% of the budget assigned for the grants in 2020/21 has actually been spent, the scheme is simply failing to achieve the results Ministers had hoped. We agree with the Select Committee that the eligibility criteria for the scheme is preventing many from being able to access it and Ministers need to address this as a matter of urgency.”

In its report, published on 17th February 2021, the Environmental Audit Committee notes that: “The Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme opened for applications on 30th September. In November 2020, we conducted a survey to find out how easy it had been for home improvers to access. In total, 510 people responded to the survey. Alarmingly, 86% of those responding to the survey had had a poor experience with the process, although just over half applying had found the Green Homes Grant eligibility calculator helpful. The eligibility criteria, however, prevented many from being able to access vouchers for the measures they required: homeowners must install primary measures before receiving the same funding towards secondary measures.”

It goes on to say: “We welcome the intention behind the Government’s Green Homes Grant. It is disappointing that the administration of the scheme appears to be putting green jobs at risk, rather than creating them. Delivery has been poor for consumers and has led to perverse consequences for installers, and the scheme remains too short-term to have any prospect of achieving its initial targets. We recommend that the Green Homes Grant scheme be urgently overhauled and extended to provide greater long-term stimulus to the domestic energy efficiency sector. The Government must be mindful not to repeat the mistakes of the failed Green Deal energy efficiency incentive scheme.”

Green Homes Grant recommendations accepted by Government

Published On: August 6, 2020 at 8:49 am


Categories: Law News

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Private landlords have welcomed the news that recommendations about how the new Green Homes Grant scheme should work have been accepted by the Government.

It was in the Chancellor’s Summer Statement that this scheme was announced. The Government will be contributing at least two-thirds of the cost for improvement work to homeowners and landlords. This improvement work is to make their properties more energy efficient. 

There is a cap of up to £5,000 that will apply per household. This will then increase to £10,000 for low income households in the owner-occupied sector.

The detailed plans published adopt the recommendations made by the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) including that:

  • Tradespeople used for the scheme must be registered for TrustMark or Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accreditation.
  • The range of measures covered by the scheme should be comprehensive. The Government’s plans say that energy efficiency works should include some element of insulation or low carbon heat installation to qualify for the subsidy which can then also include a range of other measures such as draught proofing, replacing windows or doors and installing heat controls.

The NRLA points out that the Government has previously indicated that residential rental properties should be achieving an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D or better by 2025. This should then be at a C or better by 2030. The scale currently ranges from A, as the highest rating, to G, as the lowest.

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive for the NRLA, has commented: “Today’s announcement is good news for landlords and tenants, and demonstrates what can be achieved when the Government works constructively with landlords.

“Energy efficient homes are clearly important to improving health, reducing household bills and meeting the Government’s ambitions around carbon reduction. We welcome the clarity around what measures will be included as part of the Green Homes Grant scheme and encourage landlords to make use of this important initiative when it opens.”