Renting out a property? Do you know there is new legislation you need to comply with?
Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards
As part of the Energy Act 2011, The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property)(England and Wales) Regulations 2015 establish a minimum level of energy efficiency for privately rented property in England and Wales.
Rented domestic properties must now (as of April 2018) have a minimum EPC rating of E. Therefore F and G rated properties cannot be let.
EPC F and G rated properties waste energy. They impose unnecessary cost on tenants and the wider economy, and they contribute to avoidable greenhouse gas emissions.
From 1st April 2018 this regulation is for new tenancies only.
From 1st April 2020 this will be for all tenancies.
If you are renting an F or G rated property there is help available through Eco funding and the now privatised Green Deal Finance Company.
There is guidance for landlords regarding this legislation on the government website; along with details of support available and the exemptions register.
Arun District Council have produced a brief information leaflet for landlords to accompany this guidance you can view this here: MEES info. sheet LL.pdf [pdf] 260KB
Your Energy Sussex tariffs
You can now buy your gas and electricity from a new, local energy supplier that’s backed by Sussex councils (Including Arun District Council) and aims to get more people into the switching habit.
Why not see how much you could save by switching to Your Energy Sussex? It’s easy to get a quote and switch at www.yourenergysussex.org.uk or you can call them free of charge on 0800 952 0001.
It’s a good idea to have a recent bill gas and electricity bill to hand so you know how you use and how much you would normally pay.
By launching a council-backed energy company, we are aiming to encourage more people in Sussex to compare their energy costs, switch and pay less for their gas and electricity.
Industry figures show that just 25% of people switched supplier or tariff in the past twelve months. This means that the majority of households could be paying up to £300 a year more than if they switched to the cheapest available tariff.
Your Energy Sussex is different to other energy companies because it doesn’t make money for shareholders or directors’ bonuses. Profits are used to help local people who are struggling to pay their energy bills.
Your Energy Sussex offers straightforward advice, excellent customer service and works hard to keep customers on the best energy tariff. It’s also planning to launch a green tariff later this year that will supply Sussex-generated clean energy directly to customers.
Your Energy Sussex supplies gas and electricity to residents across West Sussex, East Sussex and Brighton & Hove. Why not give them a call today?
Free home energy visits for Arun residents
If your home is cold and damp in Winter, if you are suffering from health problems or if you are worried about your heating bills, you could be eligible for a FREE Home Energy Visit from one of our qualified energy experts. Our Wellbeing Home service can help keep you warm and make your home more comfortable and more energy efficient. You can receive free energy saving devices, practical advice and information about keeping warm and healthy in your home. Don't miss out, contact our Home Energy Visitors Jo or Emma on 01903 737941 or email email@example.com. For further information visit the Wellbeing Home website.
Smart Meters are coming!
Smart meters are the new generation of gas and electricity meters. They will replace the traditional gas and electricity meters we currently have in our homes. Every home in England, Scotland and Wales will be offered a smart meter by their energy supplier, at no extra cost, between now and 2020. Your supplier will be in touch to arrange an appointment when they are ready to install yours.
Smart meters will enable you to see exactly how much energy you’re using as you use it, and what it is costing in pounds and pence. They take regular reading and share these directly with you energy supplier through a secure wireless network, putting an end to estimate bills and manual meter readings. You can find out more about smart meters at Smart Energy GB, alternatively you can contact the Energy Efficiency Officer at Arun at firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01903 737743
Free Cavity Wall Insulation
Arun District Council supports the work of Crest Surveying to provide free cavity wall insulation to Arun residents. The scheme is open to everyone; there is no need for qualifying benefits. The company are using ECO (Energy Company Obligation) funding to finance the works.
Crest Surveying services will provide a free survey, booking a date and time convenient to you. They will determine if your property is suitable and they will arrange for the works to be carried out free of charge.
The works have 25 year CIGA guarantee.
Call Freephone 0800 5677474
Go Energy Shopping
You could save money by switching your tariff or energy supplier, or by changing the way you pay for energy. This can be quick and simple, especially if you use a price comparison service. ‘Fixed rate’ or ‘capped’ tariffs can be a good deal and could protect you from future price rises. A fixed tariff means that the price of the energy will not change for the duration of the contract. A capped tariff means that the price of energy will not go up over a set amount, but may go down. These tariffs will help you budget, as your energy supplier can’t suddenly increase what they charge for your energy use. However, you will need to agree a contact for a set period of time. If you need to leave the contract early, you may be charged a fee. ‘Standard’ or ‘variable’ tariffs do not have contract end dates, but they are usually the most expensive way to pay for your energy. Shopping around for a better deal on your gas and electricity can save you up to £200. For more information and an easy and impartial guide on getting the best energy deal visit Ofgem’s, the energy regulator, website Be An Energy Shopper.
Your Energy Sussex (YES)
Arun District Council has enabled and led on successful loft and cavity wall insulation schemes for several years. These have helped thousands of people access grants to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. The funding for most of these was superseded by a new scheme called the Green Deal which came to an end in 2015. The Government are considering a new scheme to replace this. It will hopefully offer energy saving improvements to homes at minimal upfront cost.
West Sussex County Council have set up Your Energy Sussex (YES) which is a partnership of 15 Sussex local authorities working together to improve energy efficiency in homes and commercial buildings. YES are making use of Government schemes such as The Energy Company Obligation (ECO). You can find out more information on Your Energy Sussex’s website.
Top ten tips for energy saving in the home
1. Fit draught proofing to seal any gaps around windows and doors. Fit flaps or brushes to keep the cold air from coming in through your letterbox.
2. Make sure you loft has at least 270mm (10-11 inches) of insulation. Any home with 100mm (4 inches) or less should have it topped up.
3. Is your water too hot? Your cylinder thermostat shouldn’t need to be set higher than 60°C/140°F. Make sure your cylinder and pipes have adequate insulation, and top them up if not.
4. Close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows, and make sure radiators are not blocked by curtains or furniture.
5. Always turn off the lights when you leave a room
6. Don’t leave appliances on standby or leave unused charges switched on
7. If you’re not filling up the washing machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher, use the half-load or economy programme
8. Only boil as much water as you need in the kettle (but remember to cover the elements if your kettle is electric)
9. A dripping hot water tap wastes energy and in one week wastes enough hot water to fill half a bath, so fix leaking taps and make sure they’re fully turned off
10. Use energy saving light bulbs. An LED bulb will cost more to buy, but will last over 10 years and save you even more money in the long run
For more simple tips on saving energy go to the Energy Saving Trust website.
Energy grant finding tools
West Sussex Open4Community is a funding and support website for voluntary and community organisations. This portal provides you with comprehensive coverage of government, lottery, EU, non-government and charitable trust funding opportunities in your area. Follow this link to see West Sussex County Council grant information. The government grant finder tool can also help you to find energy grants.
Search the Energy Saving Trust for grants and offers available for measures you can take to improve your home.
To help obtain lower prices, local oil clubs are forming. An oil club, or oil syndicate, is where a group of residents place an order together, enabling them to negotiate a better price with oil suppliers. An added benefit is that oil deliveries can be better coordinated and reduce the number of journeys by oil tankers along our country lanes. Please see West Sussex Affordable Energy for more information.
Arun District Council support Eco Schools and are happy to provide information, handouts and talks to help to support the programme in Arun schools. Please contact our Energy Efficiency Officer by emailing email@example.com or phoning 01903 737743.
West Sussex Sustainable Business Partnership
The West Sussex Sustainable Business Partnership offers free support to businesses within West Sussex to help them adopt sustainable business practices. The partnership provides a wide range of services including:
- Energy, Waste and Water Efficiency courses
- Display Energy Certificates and Energy Audits
- Learning and Networking Events
Please visit West Sussex Sustainable Business Partnership for more information.
Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) have been introduced to help improve the energy efficiency of buildings. All domestic and commercial buildings in the UK which are available to rent or buy must have an EPC. There has been some confusion over how the EPC regulations apply to HMOs. Please go to HMO government information to find details of which HMOs do and which do not require an EPC. Display Energy Certificates (DEC) are required for large public buildings - for example town halls, libraries, hospitals - to display certificates showing the energy efficiency of the building and requiring inspections for air conditioning systems. For help finding an accredited person to undertake a domestic Energy Performance Certificate you can obtain an impartial list of assessors working in the area. For help finding an accredited person to undertake an energy certificate (an EPC or a DEC) for a commercial building, you might like to try the Association of Commercial Energy Assessors; a not-for-profit organisation who can provide a list of some of the assessors operating in this area. Please note this list will only contain members of the ACEA but assessors are able to join the list for free.
The Energy Saving Trust website has information on the benefits of renewable energy, the different options available and what to consider if you are thinking about installing a renewable energy system in your home.
Planning permission & renewable energy
Many applicants will no longer need to apply for planning permission for domestic solar panels or ground source heat pumps due to changes to permitted development rights made in 2008. For an explanation of the planning requirements please see the national Planning Portal.
Selling renewable energy
With the introduction of the Feed in Tariff (FIT) and Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), which pay you for generating renewable energy, there are no longer substantial grants to help purchase renewable energy systems.
Feed-In Tariffs (FIT) provides a guaranteed rate for each unit of electricity generated and exported.
Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) provides a guaranteed rate for heat generated using zero or low carbon technologies. It has been designed to provide financial support that encourages individuals, communities and businesses to switch from using fossil fuel for heating, to renewables such as wood fuel.
Buying renewable energy
Since 2002, electricity companies have had to buy a proportion of their electricity from green power sources. As a result most now offer a Green Tariff, designed to provide as much electricity as possible from renewable or sustainable sources. Such sources include wind power, solar power and biomass energy, which avoid the harmful emissions associated with burning fossil fuels, or the risks associated with nuclear power. The electricity supply continues to come from the National Grid, using the same cables and meters.
'Free solar' schemes
Solar PV panels are expensive. But with the Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) available, they can be an attractive investment and some companies and groups are interested in helping you to take advantage of the opportunity. So you might find yourself being approached with some sort of finance package or rent your roof deal, particularly for solar PV although there are a lot less of these schemes around now that the Government have reduced the FIT. These "free" schemes normally include a free or low cost installation in exchange for allowing the company to pocket the entire FIT and allowing the householder to access the free energy from the solar as it is generated (the energy cannot be stored, if not used it will be exported to the main grid). It sounds like a fair deal but there are more issues to address than simply who pays and what they get in return, such as whether you want to sign up to such a scheme for the next 25 years, what the "buy out" clause is, who has liability for the equipment's performance, its insurance, planning permission etc.
More Information about Renewable Energy
Strategies and action plans
Arun District Council – Flexible Eligibility Statement of Intent published 22nd January 2018.pdf [pdf] 798KB