Industry News Victoria Barker 18/01/2021

Big Energy Saving Week

This week is Big Energy Saving Week, a national campaign aimed at helping people to cut their fuel bills and ensure they are getting all the financial support they are entitled to. 

The NRLA has been campaigning for some time for more funding for the private rented sector for landlords to improve the energy efficiency of their properties, and there are also plenty of resources online for members to learn more about this. 

Green Homes Grants scheme 

Last year, the Government launched the Green Home Grants scheme. As part of the scheme, landlords and homeowners in England can apply for a grant of up to £5000 to improve the energy efficiency of their properties. 

Data shows more than 58,000 people have applied to the scheme so far, and the NRLA is urging landlords who are eligible to apply to the scheme, which is due to close in 2022. 

In Wales, one of NRLA Wales’ six key asks in its manifesto ahead of the Senedd elections this year is for grants and loans to be introduced for landlords to improve the energy efficiency of their properties, and an end fuel poverty for private tenants. 

Landlords with properties in North Wales can hear more about grant funding opportunties to improve energy efficiency to their properties in an NRLA webinar taking place on 4th February at 12pm, with Arbed. Register for this webinar here.

The direction of travel-higher standards planned 

Since April 2018, the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards have made it a legal requirement for all privately owned properties to have an EPC rating of at least an 'E' before they are sold or let. As of April 2020, this requirement has now been extended to tenancies that existed prior to April 2018. 

But the rules are set to get even tougher. 

Coinciding with the launch of the Green Homes Grant scheme in the summer, the Government also announced plans to raise the minimum energy efficiency standards for rental homes to C grade or higher from April 2025 for new tenancies, (unless they have a valid exemption). 

The Government recently ran a consultation on the proposals, with the cost cap proposed for landlords £10,000 – much higher than the current £3,500 level. Under the proposals all landlords will need to hit the targets by 2028 (unless they have a valid exemption). 

In the NRLA’s response to this consultation, the association backed the Government’s plans to reduce carbon in homes and improve energy efficiency-while also calling for a financial package. 

The financial package would enable those landlords who face the biggest challenges to meet this proposed standard – or some landlords could take properties of the rental market altogether. 

In the consultation response, the association also warned the Government should not adopt a “one size fits all” approach when it comes to this, pointing out there will be different challenges facing landlords depending on the type of rental they own. 

More advice on energy efficiency for landlords 

  • More advice on energy efficiency, including EPCs and coronavirus, can be read online here. 

  • Could your tenants be eligible to receive the winter fuel payment? Read more about this here. 

  • You can also learn more about energy efficiency regulations by signing up to our eClassroom course on this subject. 

  • You can read more about Big Energy Saving week here