NLA supporting housing decarbonisation in Wales

The NLA supports the Welsh Government in their objective to achieve net carbon by 2050, specifically in their bid for housing decarbonisation in Wales. A recent report* on decarbonising existing homes in Wales called the ‘Better Homes, Better Wales, Better World’ by the Decarbonisation of Homes in Wales Advisory Group laid out seven recommended steps for the Welsh Government to achieve net zero carbon by 2050. 

What does the report recommend? 

  1. Political parties in Wales must make a strategic commitment to national residential decarbonisation and stick to it 
  2. The Welsh Government must set ambitious housing targets to meet its ambition of achieving net zero carbon by 2050 
  3. The Welsh Government must put in place the right support and delivery mechanisms across all tenures to help achieve the targets 
  4. The Welsh Government, working with others, must develop a holistic package of support across all tenures to incentivise and facilitate action 
  5. The Welsh Government should collect data about the status and condition of the housing stock to inform future decisions and measure progress towards targets 
  6. The Welsh Government must continue to monitor and test new solutions to decarbonise homes 
  7. The Welsh Government and its partners must make maximum use of communities, networks, associations and Third Sector organisations in helping to decarbonise homes. 

What does it mean for landlords? 

It can be incredibly hard for landlords to know the history of the houses they let out – many of the works to improve energy efficiency are not obvious from superficial inspections, and much of the work done to a property can be lost in the purchase cycle. This makes it very hard for landlords to make energy efficient upgrades. The Better Homes, Better Wales, Better World report suggests creating a housing passport, or a ‘Home LogBook’, for every home in order to guide energy efficiency decisions and investments.  

The Advisory Group also suggests the Welsh Government urgently create financial support mechanisms to enable owner-occupiers and private residential landlords to improve the energy efficiency of their properties. We believe this would provide adequate incentives for landlords to make improve their rental properties to an energy efficiency rating of Band A. 

How do we know these recommendations will work? 

Gavin Dick, Local Authority Policy Officer at the NLA and member of the Advisory Group, says: 

“Housing passports have been successfully introduced elsewhere in Europe and provide a systematic approach for renovations. Landlords, and other homeowners, need to know what steps they need to take in order to plan effectively for the future. 

“If the Welsh Government is serious in its commitment to decarbonising housing, it should provide these free to all homeowners, along with funding to assist with upgrades. Given that 32 percent of Welsh housing was built pre-1919, raising energy efficiency levels to Band A is an expensive and demanding exercise. Homeowners need to be encouraged and incentivised to make these changes.” 

*The full report is available in English and Welsh.