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Improving home energy performance through lenders

This consultation set out a range of proposals to improve the energy performance of mortgaged properties and deliver substantial emissions reductions.

Objectives of the consultation

As part of a wider package of measures, this consultation sought views on the government’s proposals to set requirements for lenders to help homeowners to improve the energy performance of their homes. These proposals would significantly improve the energy performance of mortgaged properties in order to:

  • Deliver substantial emission reductions, which will help to meet our Carbon Budgets 4 and 5 and support a decarbonisation pathway consistent with our net zero target;
  • Increase the quality, value and desirability of homeowners’ assets, while reducing energy bills and ensuring warmer homes; • Help pave the way for the UK’s transition to low-carbon heating by reducing demand and preparing homes for the installation of low-carbon heating measures; 
  • Support investment in high quality home retrofit jobs and skills in the supply chain across England and Wales; and
  • Provide greater energy security, through lower energy demand on the grid, and reduced fuel imports.

The consultation closed on 12 February 2021.

Supporting papers

To download documents that supported this consultation follow the links below.

CIBSE response

CIBSE very much supports the intent to improve the energy and carbon performance of the existing housing stock using a range of instruments, including financing. We therefore support the overall intent of this consultation, as well as the principles of exploring voluntary and possibly mandatory targets.

However, a fundamental limitation is the fact that this policy relies on Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs). CIBSE and many other organisations have at length and for a number of years explained the limitations of EPCs to drive improvements to the housing stock.

We are aware of the Government’s proposed EPC Action Plan, however at the time of writing it is not clear to us whether this will include addressing the fundamental issues to ensure that EPCs can provide a closer link to actual energy use and a trajectory in line with the heat decarbonisation agenda. These points must be addressed before we can support the proposals in this consultation. We have been invited to a stakeholder meeting with BEIS and MHCLG on the EPC Action Plan and look forward to contributing to this work.

The recent SAP/RdSAP 11 scoping report for BEIS, which CIBSE contributed to, makes recommendations which would address these points. We strongly recommend these should be considered before implementation of the proposed policy.

For more information and detailed answers to consultation questions, see the full CIBSE response below.