Last week the RICS published a consultation report on net zero and housing.

Its recommendations include:

  • A uniform VAT rate of 5% for home improvement and repair to houses to enhance energy efficiency, to be carried out by an accredited installer or contractor with a recognised quality mark.
  • A review of the impact of the Minimum Energy Efficient Standards at point of sale as part of the regulatory ambitions to bring all dwellings to an EPC rating of C by 2035.
  • Government to support industry in the growth and regulation of the PropTech sector, to fully exploit the value of property-based data in aiding greening homes.
  • Government must engage with industry to improve public awareness of standards and professional competency-based advice and training regarding energy efficiency retrofits and wider home improvement works, especially for heritage buildings which are more complex and present a skills gap in the market.
  • Government must create long term policy and regulatory energy efficiency roadmaps to bring confidence to the financial sector, encouraging mortgage lenders to invest and develop products to support these ambitions.

The RICS confirm that around 15% of total UK emissions currently come from heating homes. However, less than 5% of the energy used for heating homes and buildings derives from low-carbon sources.   Significant changes need to be made to exisiting and new housing stock in order to meet the Government's Carbon Reduction commitment.   This consultation paper helps to set the framework for how this will be achieved.