Domestic energy efficiency regulations
Section 43: Domestic energy efficiency regulations
123.This section gives the Secretary of State powers to make domestic energy efficiency regulations in respect of England and Wales. Under this section, the Secretary of State must make regulations prescribing the circumstances in which a landlord must undertake relevant energy efficiency improvements before letting the property. Subsection (1) gives the Secretary of State the power to define the types of domestic property which are to be the subject of the obligation to make relevant energy efficiency improvements whilst subsection (2) describes the obligation placed upon a landlord.
124.Subsection (4) defines concepts such as “energy performance certificate”, “landlord” and “relevant energy efficiency improvements”. “Relevant energy efficiency improvements” are those which are of a description specified in the regulations and can be (i) financed wholly by a green deal plan, (ii) provided free of charge under a scheme provided for under section 33BC or 33BD Gas Act 1986 or sections 41A or 41B Electricity Act 1989 (a ‘supplier scheme’4), (iii) financed wholly by a combination of the green deal and subsidy under a supplier scheme, or (iv) financed under another specified financial arrangement. Subsection (5) provides the Secretary of State with the power to amend the definition of “energy performance certificate” if this is thought desirable or becomes necessary as a result of the source of the definition in the Energy Performance Regulations being amended. Subsection (6) places a duty on the Secretary of State to ensure that domestic energy efficiency regulations come into force no later than 1 April 2018.
Section 44: Further provision about domestic energy efficiency regulations
125.This section sets out further provisions that may be included in the domestic energy efficiency regulations. Subsection (1) describes how the regulations may make further provision: about the period within which the relevant energy efficiency improvements must be started or completed or may make provision granting exemptions from any requirements imposed by or under the regulations. Provision may also be made about how any requirement imposed by or under the regulations must be evidenced.
126.Subsection (2) provides further detail about the type of provision which may be made relating to exemptions. In this context, further provision may be made relating to the necessary permissions or consents which may be necessary before relevant energy efficiency improvements are permissible or about the likely negative impact on the value of a property of complying with the requirement to undertake relevant energy efficiency improvements. Under provision made under the power in this subsection, the Secretary of State could provide, for example, that a landlord is not required to make relevant energy efficiency improvements if he cannot obtain consent which is required to be given by his freeholder, or if the property is likely to be worth less as a result of the improvements being installed.
127.Subsection (3) sets out examples of the kind of further provision that may be made in regulations relating to the evidence required to demonstrate the application of an exemption or that a property falls outside the scope of any regulations made.
Section 45: Sanctions for the purposes of domestic energy efficiency regulations
128.This section enables the Secretary of State to make provision for the purpose of securing compliance by landlords with the requirements imposed on them. Subsections (2) and (3) provide that a local authority may enforce the requirements in the regulations and also that failure to comply with any requirements imposed by or under the regulations can lead to sanctions including the imposition of a civil penalty not exceeding £5,000.
129.Subsection (4) requires regulations to provide for a right of appeal to a court or tribunal against the imposition of a civil penalty and subsections (5) to (8) make further provision regarding appeals.
The schemes are currently the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target, provided for in the Electricity and Gas (Carbon Emissions Reduction) Order 2008 (SI 2008/188) and the Community Energy Saving Programme, provided for in the Electricity and Gas (Community Energy Saving Programme) Order 2009 (SI 2009/1905). This will include the Energy Company Obligation in the future.