In the summer of 2016, a report released by the Association for Conservation of Energy revealed that 37% of commercial properties and 25% of residential properties in London were rated E or lower on the EPC scale.
Essentially, this means that a vast number of properties in London are seriously lacking in energy efficiency; the EPC scale runs from A-G, with A being the highest rating and G the lowest.
This led to local government making legal changes to ensure that the future of the Capital is green. From April 2018, all properties in London will be required to hold an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) with a minimum grade of E. It is incredibly important to have an EPC as any property that still rate in the F or G scales will not be permitted for leasing or purchase.
It is no coincidence that at the same time as the publishing of this incriminating report, London Mayor Sadiq Khan released his manifesto for a greener, cleaner city. The manifesto supported the new law changes for April 2018 but also promised much more.
By 2025, Khan wants to carry out retrofits on 70% of London’s commercial properties and by 2050, wants London to be a zero carbon city.
While these promises may sound fantastic on paper, a number of experts have expressed concern that London is simply in a dismal state regarding energy efficiency and won’t meet the deadlines set – with some even suggesting that the April 2018 law changes have arrived too quickly.
Pedro Guertler, the man behind the 2016 report by the Association for Conservation of Energy, was the first to express his concerns regarding Khan’s ambitious projects;
“The Mayor has set ambitious climate change and energy targets. But we are falling well behind on our milestones to reach them. We are improving homes at half the speed we need to – and public sector buildings aside, nobody at City Hall knows what progress is being made to improve our workplaces. Investing more in the energy performance of our substandard buildings will help London meet its targets, enhance its economic competitiveness and be a place that people want – and can afford – to live and work.”
While Khan’s plans regarding EPC and general energy efficiency in London are admirable, it almost seems as if he is fighting a losing battle. Just last year, the government scrapped plans to improve insulation in a number of commercial properties. Khan has a lot of hard work ahead of him, if he wants to deliver on his greener, cleaner manifesto.