A good position
The energy efficiency directive might not help landlords fund eco-improvements but there are alternatives, says Bill Hull
Social landlords may breathe a sign of relief following the announcement on 15 June that a provisional deal has finally been agreed between the European Council and members of the European Parliament on the proposed energy efficiency directive.
The directive, which was initially intended to achieve a 20 per cent reduction in energy demand across the EU by 2020, is now predicting cuts closer to 17 per cent. The deal represents a compromised position amid claims the UK government acted to weaken the obligations placed on EU member states.
Social landlords may be relieved that proposals to extend obligations to renovate 3 per cent of the total floor area of buildings owned by bodies governed by public law have been rejected, because of concerns they would be unable to recoup investment without putting strain on occupants with rent increases.
This will disappoint those seeking to strengthen funding policies for social housing energy efficiency. For example, proposals from the European Parliament’s committee on energy that member states adopt ‘a proactive policy in supporting deep refurbishment done in particular in the social housing sector’, and also proposals from CECODHAS Housing Europe calling for member states to provide financial support to public housing bodies for an agreed percentage of renovations each year.
Despite this, social landlords will still be in a good position to claim funding for energy efficient renovations under other initiatives, such as the green deal, and should now consider how best to maximise these opportunities to their benefit.
Bill Hull is a partner at TLT email@example.com