Image credit: Liz (perspicatious.org), used under Creative Commons license.
We already know that more Brits die from cold than Siberians, and that this fuel poverty has lead to a call for renting dangerously cold homes to be made illegal. Now that campaign has scored a major victory, with the worst performing homes becoming illegal to rent by the year 2018. But is it enough to stop people dying?Major Victory on Warmer Homes
The promises of Britain's coalition government to be "the greenest government ever" so far appear to be receiving very mixed reviews at best. But Friends of the Earth has just announced one major and important victory in the struggle for energy efficiency and environmental justice.
Insulation and Weatherization is a Safety Issue
As of 2018, it will become illegal for landlords to rent homes given an F or a G energy rating. This new law will mean that just as rental homes need to meet minimum fire safety and building code standards, so too they will need to reach a certain level of energy efficiency to avoid being a health hazard. Warm Homes campaigner Dave Timms welcomed the move:
This legislation will protect many vulnerable families from fuel poverty and high energy bills in the future. The Government has made it clear that renting out dangerously cold and draughty homes is unacceptable - landlords will have to improve their properties or face prosecution.
But campaigners are still pushing for more. The original campaign called for new laws to come into effect by 2016, and to provide protection from eviction for tenants who request energy efficiency improvements. Campaigners are also calling for action on privately-owned inefficient homes too.
But this was a welcome piece of good news for an environmental movement that expected more from its new government.