Landlords will have to start improving their properties or risk not being able to let them.

Plans to introduce new minimum energy efficiency standards for private landlords were announced in 2011 under the Green Deal.

The plans include a proposal that, from April 2016, landlords will not be able to refuse reasonable requests from tenants or local authorities acting on behalf of tenants, to improve their property. And from April 2018 it will be unlawful to let a house or business premise which has less than an “E” energy efficiency rating.

With more than a quarter of a million of the worst insulated rented homes classed as fuel poor, these proposals are likely to help the most vulnerable and will ensure at least 682,000 properties will have to be improved.

In order to help the sector manage these upcoming changes to legislation, the Government launched the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) which currently offers landlords the opportunity to apply for a grant towards a broad range of energy-saving measures.

Landlords who have properties in their portfolio with a rating of F or G should investigate the possibility of improvements, the assistance offered towards the installation of energy-saving measures will not only help to ultimately increase the value and rental income of property but also reduce tenants’ bills as the property will be more cost-effective to heat.

The domestic renewable heat incentive (RHI) was launched this week nationwide, covering heat generated through biomass, heat pumps and thermal panels.

Tariffs of between 7.3p and 19.2p per killowatt-hour will be paid by the government to those registered to the scheme, and Ms Munt has backed the idea for those locally.

She said: “Many people in rural Somerset are either stuck with expensive oil or LPG, or are trying to switch to greener ways of heating their homes and water.

“Not only will people have warmer homes and cheaper fuel bills, but also they will reduce their impact on the environment, and get cash payments for installing new low-carbon techonologies.” [More...]

On April 9 the Government announced the full details of who will be eligible for support under the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive. Owner occupiers as well as second homes, private landlords and legacy applications are eligible for the domestic RHI, where renewable heating technologies have been installed since July 15, 2009.

Eligible technologies include biomass, air and ground source heat pumps and solar thermal, with a maximum system size of 45kW.

The scheme will be based upon a seven year tariff for all technologies, and are paid on pence per kWh of renewable heat, allowing for systems to be paid off more quickly. [more...]

GREEN energy specialist SERS Energy Solutions says it fears home owners believe many insulation funding schemes have dried up. It is launching an awareness campaign in Staffordshire after moving to a central site in Stoke.

The company says a combination of low-cost finance deals and cashback means that home owners can still insulate their houses and save thousands of pounds on fuel bills. [More..]

Sustainable energy experts RegenSW have said a ‘record’ number of visitors attended the organisation’s Renewable Energy Marketplace, held at Exeter’s Westpoint Arena.

The Government launched its domestic Renewable Heat Incentive scheme this week, which will reward householders who replace fossil fuel boilers with renewable heating solutions such as biomass systems, air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps and solar thermal technologies. [More...]