04/10/2022 - Permalink

Council wins funding to improve energy efficiency standards in the private rented sector

Related topics: Climate change / environment / Housing / Partner organisations / Public protection

Shropshire Council has won £93,413 from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to help improve energy efficiency standards in the private rented sector across the county.

The funding will be used help raise awareness of the Private Rented Sector (PRS) Regulations which require privately rented homes to meet the minimum energy efficiency standard (MEES).

Anyone letting or looking to let a property must have an energy performance certificate (EPC) to show tenants how energy efficient the property is. Under MEES, the lowest EPC rating allowed is an E – properties with an EPC rating of F or G cannot be rented out unless they have a valid exemption in place*

The council will use the funding to appoint officers on a temporary basis to work with landlords to explain the requirements to secure compliance, and advise on available grant funding to help towards costs. The team will also help identify non-compliant landlords.

Those who don’t comply to the regulations can be fined up to £5,000.

Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member responsible for built housing, said:-

“I am so pleased we have been granted funding to help raise awareness and support the private rented sector to comply with the PRS regulations.

“We want tenants to have warm, safe housing and a good energy performance rating is more important than ever, especially with soaring energy bills and the cost of living crisis.

“Also, with climate change being one of the greatest challenges we face, more extreme weather is likely to generate higher maintenance and insurance costs for landlords and higher utility bills for tenants, and we all have a part to play in reducing the carbon emissions which are responsible.

“Housing accounts for around 30% of Shropshire’s carbon emissions, but reducing heat loss through better insulation and installing more energy efficient and low carbon heating and lighting will help to significantly reduce them.

“I would really encourage landlords to ensure their properties comply under the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards legislation.

“Landlords, homeowners and tenants may also be able to take advantage of some great offers to improve the energy efficiency of your home and reduce your energy bills.”

Michael Gallagher, Head of Midlands Net Zero Hub, said:-

“Midlands Net Zero Hub is delighted to be supporting councils across England and Wales through the PRS Enforcement Competition, funded by BEIS. This competition will assist a further 26 councils to implement and enforce the requirements of the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) regulations.

“Through improving the quality of housing stock, the whole project looks to target over 95,000 of the worst-performing private rented homes, with the ultimate aim of tackling fuel poverty and reducing carbon emissions produced by the domestic housing sector.”

Advice and support

For advice on how to comply with the regulations contact Shropshire Council’s housing enforcement team at housing.enforcement@shropshire.gov.uk or on 0345 678 9067. You can also visit our website at Private sector rented housing enforcement | Shropshire Council

For further information on the PRS MEES Compliance and Enforcement Competition, please visit the PRS MEES Competition page on the Midlands Net Zero Hub website.

For advice and information on how to keep your house warm and help and support with rising costs this winter visit our cost of living webpages here. 

Further information

*These requirements are set out in The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 (‘the PRS Regulations’). The council is the enforcement authority for Shropshire (excluding the area covered by Telford & Wrekin Council).

Since April 2020 privately rented homes in England and Wales are required to meet the minimum energy efficiency standard of Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) band E.

The funding is also being used to support the council to create processes to help sustain the enforcement of the PRS regulations in the future.

About the competition

The £6.3 million competition is funded by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and managed by the Midlands Net Zero Hub.  The second round of the PRS MEES competition will see a further 26 local authorities receive funding to improve the energy efficiency standards of domestic properties in the private rented sector.  This iteration builds on the success of the previous scheme, which saw 59 local authorities supported.

All local authorities in England and Wales who require funding to develop and implement an effective compliance and enforcement procedure for the MEES Regulations were invited to bid for financial support. Collaborative bids were also welcome.

Each local authority could bid for up to £100,000 of revenue funding to help build their capacity and capability to enforce the MEES Regulations in the domestic sector in their region. This financial assistance will help drive upgrades in the worst-performing private rented homes.

The competition will:

  • support local authorities with the introduction of a formulated approach for enforcing requirements under The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015
  • assist local authorities with clear financial needs to build compliance and enforcement capacity and capability
  • reduce fuel poverty and the carbon emissions produced by the housing (and commercial) sector

The Midlands Net Zero Hub is managing this scheme on behalf of BEIS.