Simple Guide to Energy Efficiency Improvements
From 1st April 2016 tenants will have the right to request consent from their landlord to carry out energy efficiency improvement measures in their accommodation. The landlord will not be able to unreasonably refuse consent except in unusual circumstances. The new regulations will apply to all domestic Assured or Assured Shorthold tenancies in private rented properties in England and Wales.
Needless to say, there is a clear incentive for landlords to consider such requests carefully, as this move will be of benefit to the landlord by making their property more energy efficient and more attractive to prospective tenants.
The improvements cover any energy efficiency measure which qualifies for the Green Deal. These improvements might include traditional ones such as cavity wall and loft insulation but could also include double or triple glazing, a new combination boiler, solar panels and exterior or interior wall cladding. An Energy Assessor would need to visit the property and calculate that the cost of any improvements would be covered by the savings in energy costs over the next 25 years. This is known as The Golden Rule.
The tenant should request written consent from the landlord to carry out certain specified improvement work. The tenant must specify and provide details of the energy efficiency measures they wish to install and provide evidence of how these measures are to be funded.
This request can be made so long as:
- The measures are covered by the Green Deal Order 2012
- It is a measure required in order to connect to the national gas distribution system
- It is a measure which the tenant has a way of funding at no cost to their landlord
Landlords will need to provide a written response to a tenant's request within one month of receiving it.
Landlords are already required by law to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) in place before a property is let. This will reflect the property's energy efficiency rating between a top rating of "A" and the poorest rating of "G". From 1st April 2018, further regulations are being introduced which will prevent landlords letting a property in the two poorest ratings of 'F' and 'G'. The Government claim that around 10% of the 4.2 million privately rented homes fall within these poor ratings. Owners of any such properties need to start making plans for improving their property's energy efficiency rating in the near future because after April 2018 it will be illegal to let such homes.
Status of the Green Deal Finance Company
The government has now stopped funding the Green Deal Finance Company. Green Deal Plans are only available if providers are supplying the funding without government assistance. A replacement fund has been promised but it is not expected until 2017 at the earliest and details are limited on it at this time.
Green Deal assessments are still available from providers and ECO will continue to run until March 2017.