Calls for tougher energy targets for PRS homes

PRS housing stockScottish Labour has called on the Scottish Government to introduce tougher targets to make private rented homes more energy efficient.

According to Labour, soaring energy costs and poorly insulated homes have pushed a third of those living in the private rented sector into fuel poverty.

The party is setting an ambitious target to ensure that all private sector properties reach an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of at least C by 2025.

This, it argues, would help to reduce bills for families living in rented homes, and help to tackle climate change.

As it stands, government proposals would currently only require private sector properties to reach an EPC rating of at least D, Labour added.

Scottish Labour housing spokesperson, Pauline McNeill MSP, said: “Everybody deserves a warm, safe and secure home but that seems further away as yet another energy company prepares to increase its charges way beyond inflation.

“Unfortunately for many in Scotland, and particularly for those in the private rented sector, a warm home is not a reality.

“There already exist strict standards over the energy efficiency of homes in the social housing sector, yet there is none whatsoever for privately rented homes. It’s time to place higher obligations on private landlords to achieve this.

“The Scottish Government’s plans to introduce minimum standards on EPC D simply don’t go far enough. We would require homes to be at energy efficiency band C by 2025.”

Responding to the call for tougher energy targets for rented homes, Sarah Beattie-Smith, senior climate and energy policy officer at WWF Scotland, said: “Improving the energy efficiency of Scotland’s homes is a win-win.  It creates healthier places to live, tackles fuel poverty, creates jobs and fights climate change. It makes no sense that some private renters are currently forced to waste precious cash and carbon heating the air outside their cold and leaky homes.

“That’s why we want the Scottish Government to take action through the forthcoming Climate Change Bill, and by introducing regulations to protect private tenants.”