Council starts work to help private rented homes become more energy efficient

Tamworth Borough Council has successfully obtained grant funding of £20,000 from the Midland Net Zero Energy Hub, to deliver a project that will support private landlord properties to become more energy efficient, reducing energy costs to renters.

Since April 2020, the Minimum Energy Efficiency Regulations 2018 have required all domestic private landlords to have a minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of E or above, to make sure tenants have warm and energy efficient homes.

The project will directly fund an experienced officer who will identify and engage with private landlords, who own properties that may currently breach the minimum standards. All identified letting agents will also receive a recorded delivery letter explaining their responsibilities in ensuring MEES regulations are implemented.

Landlords will be advised to either update the EPC at their property, prove exemption, or apply for funding to improve the thermal comfort of their tenant’s property with assistance from Council Home Energy Advice Tamworth (HEAT) service - who provide energy compliance advice on any funding or green energy initiatives as required. Details can be found here: www.tamworth.gov.uk/heat.

Landlords have had over two years to implement energy efficiency measures and any landlords that are non- compliant, following engagement with the council, will be considered for appropriate formal investigation and enforcement action on behalf of Tamworth Borough Council. Failure to comply can lead to a maximum fine of £5,000 per property. 

Councillor Alex Farrell, Cabinet Member for Homelessness Prevention and Social Housing said: “The grant will help reduce energy costs to many who rent private properties. It also allows us to develop relationships with private landlords and support tenants with developing energy efficient homes.

“This project is part of a wider approach by the council to proactively assist private tenant’s in failing properties to work to improve energy performance. This may include updated heating systems or insulation to improve housing wellbeing and prevent fuel poverty. It allows the council to take a holistic and detailed approach to each landlord, and to provide them with a suite of options to improve their property.”

Full details of the regulations can be found at: www.gov.uk/guidance/domestic-private-rented-property-minimum-energy-efficiency-standard-landlord-guidance.

Notes:

Midland Net Zero Energy Hub are distributing grants on behalf of the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

A total of £6.3 million has been funded by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and managed by the Midlands Net Zero Hub. The second round of the PRS MEES, will see a further 26 local authorities receive funding to improve the energy efficiency standards of domestic properties in the private rented sector. This iteration builds on the success of the previous scheme, which saw 59 local authorities supported.

The Home Energy Advice Tamworth (HEAT) offers advice to residents about benefits and discounts they may be eligible for.

The HEAT scheme is run by Tamworth Borough Council in partnership with Marches Energy Agency and Beat the Cold. It was set up in 2009 to provide free help and advice to people struggling to stay warm in their homes.