Property owners who fail to comply with new energy rules could face jail time as the Government pushes ahead with net zero measures, a report has claimed.
The decision has sparked backlash from Conservative MPs who oppose measures to penalise homeowners, landlords and businesses.
Tory backbenchers will likely mount a rebellion against the proposals as pressure grows on Rishi Sunak to end his net zero pledge.
However, Government Ministers want to grant themselves powers to create new criminal offences and increase civil penalties
Property owners who do not adhere to regulations to reduce their energy consumption could face up to a year in prison and fines of up to £15,000, The Telegraph has claimed.
Such measures have been included in the Government's Energy Bill.
The Energy Bill will enter the House of Commons for the first time when MPs return from recess on Tuesday.
It provides for “the creation of criminal offences” where there is “non-compliance with a requirement imposed by or under energy performance regulations”.
Homeowners could also face prosecution for the “provision of false information” about energy efficiency or the “obstruction of… an enforcement authority”.
The Energy Bill will embolden powers available under energy performance certificates.
The power was previously based on law which derived from Brussels.
However, such legislation from the European Union has been repealed since the United Kingdom left the bloc.
Craig Mackinlay, Conservative MP for South Thanet arriving for a meeting being held at 10 Downing Street
A Government spokesman said: “We have no plans to create new criminal offences, and any suggestion otherwise is untrue.
“Energy certificate legislation originated in EU laws, and our amendments ensure landlords, businesses and tenants are provided with the information they need to make their own decisions on energy efficiency in their buildings.”
Tory MPs have become increasingly outspoken about the Government's net zero agenda.
The head of the Net Zero Scrutiny Group Craig MacKinlay has tabled an amendment to the legislation.
Jacob Rees-Mogg previously served as Brexit Opportunities MinisterPA
He told The Telegraph: “The Bill is festooned with new criminal offences.
"This is just unholy, frankly, that you could be creating criminal offences
“The ones we’ve found most offensive are where a business owner could face a year in prison for not having the right energy performance certificate or type of building certification.”
Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg, who is also a GB News host, added: "The whole Bill is about piling costs onto consumers. It’s as if Uxbridge and the vote against Ulez had never taken place.”