Make sure to check the eligibility conditions for any grants available. Some of these are only available to private tenants or homeowners.
Note that tenants must seek the landlord’s permission before having work done under any grants.
Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)
An EPC gives information about a property’s energy use and environmental impact, with recommendations on how to cost effectively improve its energy efficiency and save money. It will give the property a rating on a scale from A (best) to G (worst) including an energy efficiency (SAP) rating on a scale of 1 (worst) to 100 (best). They are valid for 10 years.
An EPC is required every time you buy, sell, or rent out a property and landlords are required to make the EPC available to tenants.
EPCs allow prospective tenants or buyers to compare the likely running costs of properties. Since 2018, under UK government regulations, the lowest acceptable energy rating will be E. This is anticipated to rise to a C in the coming years.
Since 2016, tenants have legally been allowed to demand reasonable energy efficiency improvements to their homes.
To find an accredited person to undertake an Energy Performance Certificate, or to check that an individual is accredited, go to the Domestic Energy Performance Certificate Register.
Heating and insulation
Under the recent Decent Homes programme, most council properties have received modern heating systems. Many have had loft and, where a property has cavity walls, cavity wall insulation. The council is developing programmes to take advantage of Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) funding for insulation to council homes where possible.
Solar panels (PV)
Many properties are not suitable for the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. The most appropriate buildings have a south facing roof that is both large enough and structurally suitable, and which is not overshadowed by other buildings, chimneys or trees. To date, the council has been able to install PV on over 400 council-owned street properties that are most suitable.
If you have solar PV panels on your roof, you will have the advantage of free electricity as long as the panels are generating, i.e., during daylight hours. To gain most benefit from the available free electricity, you should adjust your daily routine to use energy hungry appliances during the daytime, when the panels are generating. These appliances could include vacuum cleaners, washing machines and irons. At the same time, you can charge up devices such as laptops and mobile phones which run on batteries.