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Energy Efficiency

Green Homes Grant

The Green Home Grant scheme was announced as part of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Summer Statement on 8th July 2020. 

Under this scheme homeowners and landlords will be able to apply for a voucher to fund up to two-thirds of the cost of hiring tradespeople to upgrade the energy performance of their home (up to a maximum contribution of around £5000). Low-income households will be eligible for up to 100% government funding, up to approximately £10,000.

The government has ensured that the tradespeople involved in the scheme are of a high standard, giving households confidence that improvements to their homes will be of the highest quality. When the voucher scheme opens, you will be able to choose a from a list of quality-assured contractors to do the work. 

You can apply for a voucher from the end of September. Until then visit the Green Homes Grant Scheme to see if you are eligible and what improvements you can make to your home. You can also get advice and information on the scheme from the Simple Energy website.

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards

Minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) were introduced by the government in 2011. Related to Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), the legislation prevents landlords from renting out F and G rated properties.

From April 2019 landlords have been required to demonstrate it would cost more than £3,500 to improve their property to a minimum ‘E’ rating before letting to a new tenant. From April 2020 this will apply to all existing tenancies.

The regulations were introduced to improve the quality of private rented buildings in England and Wales and to increase the energy efficiency of the worst performing houses and buildings. In addition, these regulations aim to improve the comfort and conditions in private rented homes and reduce fuel poverty.

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is needed whenever a property is built, sold or rented. Before a property is marketed to sell or rent, an EPC for potential buyers and tenants must be provided. An EPC contains:

  • Information about a property’s energy use and typical energy costs
  • Recommendations about how to reduce energy use and save money

An EPC gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to a G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years. Landlords can be fined if they don’t get an EPC when they need one.

Landlords must ensure all their properties have a valid EPC.

Properties with older EPCs might have already undergone work to meet the standards but the current EPC may no longer reflect the energy efficiency of the property. Landlords should check their EPCs and consider renewing them if they have undertaken the appropriate works already.

Landlords should start planning for 2020 by reviewing the recommendations in their EPC that will suggest ways to improve their properties rating.

Improvements can include:

  • Boiler renewal
  • Installation of radiator thermostats
  • Upgrade and install loft insulation
  • Install cavity wall insulation
  • Install energy efficient light bulbs

Helpful advice and guidance on how to improve the energy efficiency of properties can be found on the Simple Energy Advice website.

Gov.uk guidance on domestic private rented property: minimum energy efficiency standard - Landlord guidance.

There are several situations where a property will become exempt from the regulations however landlords must register this exemption and provide supporting evidence.

Exemptions are defined as:

  • High cost exemptions
  • 7-year payback exemptions
  • All improvements made exemptions
  • Wall insulation exemptions
  • Consent exemptions
  • Devaluation exemptions
  • New landlord exemptions

 

Find out more about exemptions on gov.uk.

If you struggle to pay your energy bills please consider using the Warm Home Check Service. You can find details of this on our fuel poverty page.