The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has secured a £1.5m energy fund from firm E.ON to install energy efficiency improvements in its members’ properties – the only funding dedicated exclusively to work on private rental sector homes.
From April 2018, unless a valid exemption applies, landlords must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E or above to let homes to tenants or to renew leases to existing tenants under the new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES).
However, many are struggling to fund works in the current climate, with 34% of landlords who let an F or G rated property saying that they are unable to afford to make the improvements needed to bring it up to an E or higher rating.
Now, through this energy fund, qualifying landlords can apply to E.ON to carry out a range of energy efficiency improvements on their rental properties and access finance for other energy efficiency works.
RLA Secures £1.5m Energy Fund from E.ON for Landlords
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 the following improvements under the energy fund:
- Free cavity wall and loft insulation
- 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 (E.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.
According to the latest English Housing Survey, there are 298,000 private rental sector properties in bands F and G, with the RLA’s most recent figures showing that the average amount spent by a landlord to bring a property up to band E or above is £6,781.
The Chief Executive of the RLA, Andrew Goodacre, says: “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.”
The Head of Energy Efficiency at E.ON, Nigel Dewbery, also comments: “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 conducted with landlords, we found over a quarter (28%) 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.”
He adds: “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 energy fund has been offered as part of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme, which places legal obligations on large energy suppliers to fund energy efficiency measures in domestic premises.
The current obligation period runs until 30th September 2018, and members of the RLA are able to benefit from this offer up to this date.
Anyone who would like to check their eligibility and find out more about which options are available should contact E.ON on 0330 400 1794 or visit the RLA website.
Following initial contact with the RLA, the application will go through a simple three-step process:
- ON will assess applications and arrange a free property survey
- During the survey, specialist energy experts will explain which improvements are possible, and will calculate which measures will increase a property’s performance and comply with the upcoming regulations
- ON will then provide applicants with a quote detailing all of 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.
We remind all landlords to start thinking about how they will comply with the MEES.