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Funding available to help landlords install ‘vital’ energy efficiency improvements

From the 1st April 2018, it will be unlawful to rent a property which breaches the requirement for a minimum energy performance rating of E on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), unless there is an applicable exemption.

But when it comes to improving the energy efficiency of their properties, somewhat worryingly, almost half - 49% - of landlords recently surveyed by energy company E.ON said that they do not feel adequately informed about how to do so.

Not only does this mean they may struggle to get their property compliant with the minimum EPC rating regulations, but they also might miss out on other benefits for making a property more energy efficient.

Fortunately for landlords who are members of the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), the trade body has managed to secure a £1.5m funding pot from E.ON to help landlords install energy efficiency improvements.

Andrew Goodacre, RLA chief executive, said: “The RLA is delighted to secure the £1.5m of funded works from E.ON for landlords to install the vital energy efficiency improvements. These funded works will benefit qualifying landlords by easing the upfront costs of improvement works and tenants through reduced energy bills.

“Hundreds of thousands of properties are not currently meeting the minimum standards set to be introduced next April and we would urge any landlords who believe they fit the criteria to get in touch to find out exactly what they are eligible for.”

Under the new agreement, which runs until 30 September 2018, qualifying landlords can apply to E.ON to carry out a range of energy efficiency improvements to their rental properties and to access finance for other energy efficiency works.

The funding is specifically targeted towards landlords with tenants on benefits whose properties are falling below the required EPC rating.  The works are available subject to a property survey and a benefit assessment.

Qualifying benefits include:

Pension Credit – Guarantee Credit

Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit

Employment and Support Allowance (Income based)

Income Support

Universal Credit

RLA landlords can apply for:

Free cavity wall and loft insulation (subject to terms and conditions)

Funding towards the cost of E.ON installing external wall insulation for solid wall properties

Funding towards the cost of E.ON installing a boiler upgrade or replacement, with a range of finance options available to enable members to spread the remaining cost of a new energy efficient gas boiler

Free EPC and CP12 certification following installation of energy efficiency measures

Nigel Dewbery, head of energy efficiency at E.ON, said: “Whether landlords have in the past been put off by the perceived hassle, expense, or their own lack of knowledge around the subject of energy efficiency, the clock is definitely ticking on the need to improve properties and we’re really pleased to be working with the RLA to support members to prepare for the new legislation.

“In a recent survey, we found over a quarter (28%) of landlords said they feel worried about the cost of making their property compliant. To answer this we’ve developed a range of services to give them the support they need, from online account management that allows landlords to better control their property portfolios through to a range of insulation and heating services to make rented properties more energy efficient.

“We hope working with the RLA will enable us to support landlords with a range of funding options to bring down the costs of achieving the standards whatever measures they require to upgrade their property.”

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