The UK government's efforts to improve energy efficiency in rental properties through Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) upgrades face a significant challenge, as a recent survey suggests that a majority of landlords would rather sell their properties than invest in green upgrades. The survey conducted by experts involved more than 1,000 landlords across the UK and revealed that 63% of them plan to sell their properties instead of making energy-efficient improvements like insulation, heat pumps, and solar panels.
Financial Concerns Hindering Green Investments
Financial concerns top the list of reasons why landlords are reluctant to embrace green upgrades. Many landlords fear that the costs of implementing EPC improvements are beyond their financial means. This sentiment is particularly pronounced in London, where 75% of landlords expressed a preference for selling their properties instead of going green.
It also highlights a lack of awareness and preparedness among landlords regarding the benefits and available options for adopting green energy practices. While many landlords recognise that installing solar panels, for instance, can boost their property's EPC rating, only 43% feel fully ready to embrace such changes.
Among the energy-efficient measures considered by landlords, the most popular choices include new boilers, insulation, solar panels, LED lighting, and heat pumps. However, about 20% of landlords acknowledge the need to learn more about the financial support provided by the government for these upgrades.
Government Incentives for EPC Upgrades
The government currently offers incentives, such as the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS), which provides financial support for installing air source and ground source heat pumps in residential properties. Despite these incentives, 41% of landlords estimate that they would have to spend between £5,000 and £10,000 per property, on average, to achieve the required EPC 'C' rating. More than a quarter of landlords anticipate even higher costs.
The survey results raise concerns for the government and policymakers, as landlords' reluctance to invest in EPC upgrades poses challenges to achieving long-term energy efficiency goals. Addressing financial barriers and enhancing awareness about available support could incentivise landlords to view these upgrades as valuable investments in creating a greener and sustainable rental property market.
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