McDowell Purcell, in partnership with the Public Interest Law Alliance (PILA), has prepared a research report on the law in relation to the Energy Efficiency of Rental Accommodation in Ireland for St Vincent de Paul. The study highlights the requirement for specific legislation to progressively realise energy efficiency in private rental accommodation.
Research conducted by the legal team from McDowell Purcell found that no specific provision is currently made in legislation for the rating of energy efficiency of private rental accommodation in Ireland. While a number of physical standards for rental accommodation have been introduced since 1992, these do not apply retrospectively and do not specifically promote energy efficiency.
The study recognises that under the Government’s Construction 2020 programme, a working group exists which will investigate the feasibility of introducing minimum thermal efficiency standards for rental properties. Such standards for rental properties if introduced would serve to reduce energy poverty, improve health and minimise emissions from the private rented sector.
While legislation aimed at improving energy efficiency in rental accommodation will not take families with inadequate incomes out of energy poverty, such legislation would go a long way reducing their energy bills, increasing the comfort levels in their homes and enhancing their overall health and wellbeing.
At the launch of the report on October 1st, David McKechnie, Associate at McDowell Purcell, and leader of the research team, highlighted the importance of engaging in such pro bono work:
“McDowell Purcell views pro bono work as an integral part of Corporate Social Responsibility and is delighted to have worked with PILA on this important study. Through working with PILA, we were confident that any project undertaken would be satisfying a genuine and worthy need. We therefore had no hesitation in committing to this project to assist St Vincent de Paul with its work in this important area.”
The full study is available at here.
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