Yesterday, the prime minister announced plans to reverse or postpone a number of sustainability and net zero policies. We were particularly concerned to see the reversal of a key policy regarding home insulation, which would have required existing and new homes to become more energy efficient, at no cost to tenants in the private rental sector.
The prime minister pledged to abandon policies that would force landlords to upgrade energy efficiency in their rental properties, but would instead “encourage” households to do so. Originally, the policy meant that that from 2025, new tenancies would only be possible on properties with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of C or higher. From 2028, this would also have applied to existing tenancies, but both policies have now been reversed.
Everyturn’s Net Zero and Sustainability Lead, Sam Cassidy, commented:
“We’re extremely disappointed to see the government’s announcements regarding so many crucial sustainability and net zero policies. In particular, scrapping the home insulation policies will only increase the challenges that already make life hard for many of the people we support. Removing the deadline for landlords to ensure that rented homes are adequately insulated means that people will continue to live in cold housing that is more expensive to heat.
“We know that people’s unmet social and practical needs are often largely responsible for deterioration in their mental health. Our Together in a Crisis services have seen a 42% increase in referrals over the last two years, as the increasing cost of living is pushing more people into mental health crisis.
“We’ve distributed over £8,000 of vouchers for energy, food, and essentials in the North East over the last four months, through our Crisis Fund partnership with the Greggs Foundation, so we know how much people are already struggling.
“Reaching net zero is at the core of our organisational strategy at Everyturn, and we call on the government to consider the real-life impact of the reversal of these policies. The mental health and wellbeing of our communities is absolutely linked to the health and wellbeing of our planet. We must be doing more, not less, to ensure that we meet the needs of people who too often feel left to struggle alone.”