Government in hot water from ARLA Propertymark

ARLA Propertymark has criticised the government over its net zero policy of banning new boilers from 2035 and giving landlords £5,000 to pay for alternatives.

Timothy Douglas, policy manager at Propertymark, says: “The government’s long-awaited Heat and Buildings Strategy has missed a vital opportunity to provide landlords, homeowners and businesses with adequate incentives and financial support to ensure that their decarbonisation targets for the property sector will be met.

“Their announcement of £3.9 billion of new funding for decarbonising heat and buildings from 2022 to 2025 is a substantial investment, but only a fraction of this will specifically help bring privately owned and rented homes up to target standards and the lack of clear financial commitment for commercial property owners is disappointing. 

“In contrast, a huge £800m has been earmarked for the social housing sector through the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund.

“Following the closure of the Green Homes Grant scheme, we were hopeful that the UK Government would recognise the need for long-term financial plan to support homeowners and landlords with making energy efficiency improvement but instead, a £450 million Boiler Upgrade Scheme will provide £5,000 grants to incentivise the installation of low-carbon heating systems. 

“This package fails to recognise that the costs of measures will vary considerably depending on the age, type and condition of a property. For some, £5,000 will barely scratch the surface of what it would cost to bring a property up to standard.

“The strategy document recognises that incentives and opportunities for homeowners and landlords are different and that any approach should be tailored, but it’s not clear how this will be achieved, and it certainly isn’t reflected in the funding commitments announced.”

The government has declared that new gas boilers will no longer be sold after 2035.

Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng says the grants to support the adoption of heat pumps, available from next spring, would help reduce the cost of the relatively new technology by 2030.

Currently an air source heat pump costs £6,000 to £18,000, depending on size and energy generation.

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