The RLA has secured a £1.5m funding pot from energy company E.ON to install energy efficiency improvements in members’ properties – the only funding dedicated exclusively to work on Private Rented Sector (PRS) homes.
From April 2018, unless a valid exemption applies, landlords must have an EPC rating of E or above to let homes out to new tenants or renew leases under the new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES).
However, many are struggling to fund works in the current climate, with 34% of landlords who rent out an F or G rated property saying they are unable to afford to make the improvements needed to bring it up to an E rating or better.
Now, through this relationship, 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. ON is a credit broker not a lender.
- Free EPC and CP12 certification following installation of energy efficiency measures
Measures are subject to terms and conditions. For more information see eoninstall.com
According to the English Housing Survey there are 298,000 Private Rented Sector (PRS) properties in EPC bands F and G, with the RLA’s latest figures showing the average amount spent by a landlord to bring a property to a band E or above is £6,781.
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.”
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.”
The £1.5m has been offered as part of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme that places legal obligations on large energy suppliers to fund energy efficiency measures in domestic premises.
The current obligation period runs until 30 September 2018 and members of the RLA are able to benefit from this offer up to this date.
Following initial contact with the RLA the application will go through a simple three step process.
- E.ON will assess applications and arrange a free property survey.
- During the survey, specialist energy experts will explain what improvements are possible and will calculate which measures will increase a property’s performance and comply with the upcoming regulations.
- E.ON will then provide applicants with a quote detailing all the costs and funding available, along with finance options if required to spread the upfront costs.
Once the initial contact has been made improvements could be in place within three to four weeks.
For more information about landlords’ obligations under the new MEES rules coming in next year click here.