February 24, 2024

South West News

South West News from Gloucestershire to Cornwall

Council awarded funds to ensure private sector landlords improve property energy efficiency

As energy prices soar, Cornwall Council is now able to offer more support to landlords to improve the energy efficiency of privately rented properties, which will in turn help tenants live in a warmer home, reduce fuel bills by cutting energy use, and cut CO2 emissions. 

The Council has been confirmed as one of 59 local authorities to have successfully bid for funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) fund

Private landlords will be helped with energy efficiency

The £91,237 fund will allow Cornwall Council to support landlords in making important energy efficiency changes, but also enforce standards which state that privately rented homes must meet a minimum energy performance rating of EPC Band E.  An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) gives an indication of the energy efficiency of a property. 

Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for housing, Olly Monk, said: “The Council’s successful bid is good news for Cornwall’s tenants and private sector landlords. The funding will support landlords in making sure that their properties achieve an Energy Performance Certificate of E rating or above.  

“This is good news for their tenants as we can, working in partnership with established award-winning social enterprise Community Energy Plus (CEP), ensure that privately rented properties meet MEES – the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard.   

“The CEP landlord liaison service will be expanded to assist more landlords by offering free advice on improvements, and support work to overcome the barriers to compliance. This project will support our work to reduce fuel poverty, raise standards and meet the ambitions set out in our climate change action plan.”  

Around 20% of households in Cornwall live in private rented accommodation and while the majority will be living in homes that meet the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) Regulations, there are many estimated to have an EPC lower than the Band E required by legislation.  

Additional support is also available to landlords through the Cornwall Responsible Landlords Scheme (CRLS), where further information on landlord responsibilities can be found in our rental standard and the housing health and safety rating system. Membership is free and can be obtained by visiting www.cornwall.gov.uk/responsiblelandlord, emailing rlsc@cornwall.gov.uk or calling 01209 615629. 

The Council’s portfolio holder for Environment and Climate Change, Martyn Alvey, said: “Ensuring homes in Cornwall are as energy efficient as possible is key to helping our residents save money on rising energy bills as well as progressing our journey towards reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2030.” 

Landlords who own such a property must take steps to gain an EPC Band E energy rating or register a valid exemption where improvements are not possible. There’s more information on the Council’s website and a full and complete guide explaining the Domestic private rented property: minimum energy efficiency standard produced by The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. 

Dr Tim Jones, from Community Energy Plus, said: “Our specialist advisors can assist local landlords with guidance on how to meet the standards. We are very pleased to be working with the Council on this project. 

“We want to help landlords understand how to meet the Minimum Energy Efficient Standards and ensure that their tenants have access to adequate, affordable warmth.  

“Although the project will focus on properties with the lowest energy performance (EPC F or G) we are keen help all landlords futureproof their properties as the standards will be raised as we meet the challenge of reducing carbon dioxide emissions.” 

Community Energy Plus can be contacted on 01872 308930 or nicole@cep.org.uk 

Story posted on December 2, 2021