A parliamentary committee has heavily criticised the government’s policy to de-carbonise England’s homes by 2050, including 3 million rented homes, and has called for the EPC rating system to be replaced.

A report by the Environment Audit Committee, says the government is not delivering at the scale or pace required and ministers have ‘seriously underestimated’ how much the policy will cost.

EPCs are heavily criticised as inaccurate, and it is recommended that they are replaced by a building renovation passport for both homeowners and landlords. It also notes the EPC regime unfairly forces landlords to pay fully for upgrade works that ultimately benefits tenants and that enforcement of EPC regulations is poor.

To reach a net zero greenhouse gas target by 2050, the government has said it will increase the minimum EPC rating for rented homes from the current E to C for all new tenancies by April 2025, and for existing tenancies by 2028. The committee heard evidence that to gain a EPC band C rating it can cost a landlord on average £18,000 per home which far exceeds the government’s estimate.

The report highlights that the Green Homes Grant, which was meant to be a key provider for landlords, has been so badly managed that the scheme has fallen into disrepute.

The report also identifies the government has hugely underestimated the retrofit skills gap in the UK with many property owners waiting months for quotes or work to start.

It adds: “The Green Homes Grant, although a welcome initiative, has been laden with lengthy bureaucracy, which bizarrely has led to reports of businesses laying off staff to cover loss of income rather than creating green jobs as heralded.”

The report also calls for the social rented sector to be held to the high eco-standards expected of the private rental sector.

You can download the report using the link below.