Clampdown on landlords letting cold homes
The government is putting up £4.3m to support councils in raising awareness, enforcing rules and banning landlords letting homes with the worst performing energy efficiency ratings.
The cash will go towards local radio ads, landlord workshops, free property surveys and a thermal imaging drone for inspections, in a bid to save low-income families money on their energy bills.
According to the government, more than 40,000 families living in sub-standard rented properties across 59 local authorities in England and Wales.
Since April last year privately rented homes must meet a minimum energy performance rating of EPC Band E, making it illegal to rent out homes below that unless landlords have a limited exemption. Landlords caught failing to fulfil their obligations can be fined up to £5,000 per property and per breach.
Badly insulated properties often leave those renting their homes struggling to keep warm and with higher energy bills. Homes can be better insulated by installing loft insulation, double glazing or cavity wall insulation. These three measures can save renters am average of £180 on their energy bill each year.
The £4.3m of extra funding from the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to councils across the country is designed to support them make an extra 100,000 engagements with the most difficult to reach landlords with the worst performing properties.
Lord Callanan, business and energy minister, said: “This funding will help councils to support landlords with these important energy efficiency changes, but also enforce these standards, helping tackle fuel poverty and ensuring everyone can live in a warm home with fair energy bills.
“Heating our homes and buildings makes up almost a third of all carbon emissions, meaning raising the energy efficiency of our properties is something we all have to contribute to help us build back greener and reach our world leading climate ambitions.”
The government has also announced a new £10m innovation programme which will develop energy efficient products and green finance services.