Insulation law could protect both landlords and tenants

The Institute of Mechanical Engineers has implored the government to introduce legislation which will make national insulation standards a legal requirement for all homes in the UK. Insulation installers should also be subjected to regulation and certification, according to a new report entitled ‘Heat Energy: the Nation’s Forgotten Crisis’.

“The UK’s housing stock is some of the most poorly insulated in the developed world,” says the report’s author, Dr Tim Fox, “largely because of the age of much of the countries domestic dwellings and the failure of successive Governments to take the meaningful action required on energy efficiency measures.”

“Poorly insulated homes cost the NHS an estimated £1.36 billion every year, with one estimate placing 6.5 million UK homes in fuel poverty.

“In addition, the amount of money and fuel that is wasted on heating poorly insulated homes is appalling, and the UK is facing a future of depleting UK gas reserves. It is clear that it is time for urgent action to improve energy efficiency in UK homes.

“Incentives could include schemes such as enabling sellers to offset the cost of upgrading their insulation to national standards against the stamp duty payable on the sale of the home.

“Government should also recognise the importance of the installer community in achieving its energy security and decarbonisation goals for heat provision and introduce ‘free’ training alongside a new mandatory competence registration for installers of energy efficiency and sustainable supply systems.

“It also needs to ensure that heat infrastructure, in individual buildings through to large-scale District Heating networks, is co-ordinated and strategically managed.”

Compliance with this legislation would be especially important for landlords in England and Wales’ private rental sector, who will be strictly prohibited from renting out draughty or poorly insulated properties to tenants from 2018 onwards. Here’s our guide to keeping tenants warm and happy.