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Eden to claim government grant to take part in hard to heat homes study

Eden District Council is one of seven local authorities being asked to take part in a pilot study to help address the inadequacies of hard to heat private rental properties, which can result in people suffering from fuel poverty and ill health.

The District Council can submit a grant claim for £100,000 of government funding to take part in the pilot energy compliance study being run by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

From 1 April 2018, privately rented properties must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of Band E or above. This change will apply to all new tenancies from 1 April 2020. Properties which are rented out with an EPC rating of F or G will be deemed to be a ‘sub-standard property’. To continue letting out the property, the landlord will be required to carry out energy efficiency improvements to raise the EPC rating to a minimum of E.

The requirement to meet the minimum level of energy efficiency is triggered when a new tenancy is created or when an existing tenancy with an existing tenant is extended. This includes situations where a fixed term tenancy such as a six month assured shorthold tenancy expires and becomes a periodic tenancy.

From 1 April 2020, landlords must not continue to let sub-standard domestic property (those with an EPC rating of F or G), even to existing tenants.

Eden District Council’s Deputy Leader and Housing and Health Portfolio Holder, Councillor Lesley Grisedale, said: “The new energy efficiency regulations for privately rented properties are intended to ensure that tenants who most need more efficient homes, particularly vulnerable people, are able to enjoy a better living environment and lower energy bills.

“The Eden House Condition Survey 2012 identified that 38.5% of privately rented housing in the district had an EPC rating of F or G. The Council is seeking to claim government funding to be part of this pilot study, so we can find out what the barriers are to improving the energy efficiency for private rented properties and how the Council can create effective policies to address this situation locally to improve conditions for residents.”

The Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) is going to co-ordinate the seven pilot studies with the selected local authorities, who will be required to prepare a delivery plan, attend workshops and report on indicators and targets. Throughout the study CSE will report to BEIS on the effectiveness of the various approaches deployed by each pilot and the barriers encountered which will then inform the development of good practice guidance for wider roll-out to local authorities.

For more information about Eden District Council visit www.eden.gov.uk

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