MORE than £700,000 has been allocated to local authorities, including Coventry City Council, to help them raise awareness and enforce rules banning landlords from renting homes with the worst energy efficient ratings.
Legal changes mean those living in the least energy efficient homes will receive upgrades, helping low-income families save on average £180-a-year on energy bills.
Statistics show more than 10,000 families who live in cold and draughty rented properties across the Midlands can expect warmer homes thanks to the new information and enforcement campaign.
The cash will fund measures, including local radio ads, landlord roadshows and workshops, free property surveys, targeted mailshots and more inspections.
Since April last year privately rented homes must meet a minimum energy performance rating of EPC Band E, making it illegal to rent out homes below that unless landlords have a limited exemption. Landlords caught failing to fulfil their obligations can be fined of up to £5,000 per property and per breach.
Badly insulated properties often leave those renting their homes struggling to keep warm and with unfairly high energy bills.
The rule change is expected to see energy efficiency upgrades such as loft insulation, double glazing and cavity wall insulation being installed in around 290,000 properties across the country.
Business and Energy Minister Lord Callanan, said: “This funding will help councils in the Midlands to support landlords with these important energy efficiency changes, but also enforce these standards, helping tackle fuel poverty and ensuring everyone can live in a warm home with fair energy bills.
“Heating our homes and buildings makes up almost a third of all carbon emissions, meaning raising the energy efficiency of our properties is something we all have to contribute to help us build back greener and reach our world leading climate ambitions.”
The Government has set 2035 as the target for all homes across the UK to reach EPC C by 2035 and is currently spending £1.3billion on improving the energy efficiency of 50,000 low-income local authority homes, through the successful Local Authority Delivery Scheme.
Measures include cavity wall, underfloor and loft insulation, and replacing gas boilers with low carbon alternatives like heat pumps.
And ministers are also driving up the amount energy suppliers invest in energy efficiency measures for low-income households.
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) will be extended until 2026, with its value boosted from £640million to £1billion a year, helping an extra 230,000 families with green measures such as insulation and new low-carbon boilers.
BEIS has announced plans to trial automatic switching for customers on expensive default tariffs to cheaper deals and is extending the Warm Home Discount so an extra 750,000 households get £150 knocked off their bill each year.
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