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Thursday, September 28, 2023
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Council wins funding to improve energy efficiency standards in the private rented sector

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.

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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.”

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