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Propertymark urges Government to expand cash help for Energy Efficiency Measures

Propertymark, a trade body representing property agents and landlords in the UK, has called

on the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to expand access to cash assistance for energy efficiency measures and streamline the application process. The BEIS has been consulting on the delivery of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), a government program aimed at providing energy efficiency improvements to homes, particularly those occupied by those on lower incomes or living in lower council tax bands.

In its response to the consultation, Propertymark argued that the delivery of new eco-efficient improvements should be made as simple as possible in order to allow for better access for landlords and property agents. The trade body also pointed out that past efforts to improve the energy efficiency of privately rented and owner-occupied homes were hindered by the requirement for tradespersons to be TrustMark accredited and registered with the Green Homes Grant (GHG).

Propertymark believes that standards should still be met, but suggests that future schemes should be expanded to include older individuals and those who are especially vulnerable to the cold, such as those with respiratory illnesses. The trade body also argued that eligibility for ECO support in Wales should be widened beyond council tax band C due to the high number of people impacted by rising energy bills. Propertymark also called for all rural communities in Wales and Scotland, which currently do not have access to targeted support in England, to be eligible for ECO Plus regardless of whether their properties are connected to the gas grid or not.

In addition, Propertymark warned of the potential danger of landlords who have invested in properties with F and G rated Environmental Performance Certificates being excluded from funding and being left with "trapped assets" with no support for improvements. The trade body urged the government to take these considerations into account as it moves forward with the ECO program.

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