?CLA? attacks old homes energy efficiency plans
Government plans to make old homes more energy efficient are flawed and could lead to many buildings being fitted with inappropriate kinds of insulation and other erroneous measures, the Countryside Landowners Association (CLA) has claimed.
In a new report titled The Retro Fit-up, the CLA has accused the government of failing older houses with its energy policy by "giving homeowners inaccurate information on the energy efficiency of their properties and encouraging damaging retrofits on homes built before 1919".
The body argues that the measures listed in the minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) have not been explained properly, or which properties are actually included made clear. This means that, with just a year until the new rules become law, landowners do not know which properties they need to make more energy efficient through insulation and other means.
Among specific concerns are fears that 100,000 properties could have the wrong Energy Performance Certificate rating, as it is not clear yet whether corrections to the calculating methodology agreed by the government will be implemented by the 2018 deadline. This means some homes could be illegal to let out, while others have retrofitting measures added unnecessarily.
CLA president Ross Murray said: "We want to encourage better investment in the rural private rented sector to provide safe, warm homes. But to ensure all property owners are channelling the right kind of investment into the right type of improvements, we want to see the methodology used for assessing energy efficiency urgently reformed so it does not discriminate against or recommend inappropriate retrofits for old rural properties."
The report recommends that clarification is provided not just on this point, but on the status of listed buildings and also the proposed cost cap of £5,000 per home. It also wants to see the reinstatement tax exemptions for work to bring properties up to the MEES standard until at least 2020.