Following the Prime Minister’s updates regarding the continuing Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic, resurgence of cases and rapid spread of a new variant of the virus and the imposition of new and extended restrictions in 2021, about which further information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home, the Private Sector Housing & Public Health team will not be undertaking site visits or property inspections until further notice, except in urgent emergency situations (as determined by the case officer) where appropriate precautions are in place.
This is not a permanent arrangement but will continue until the fall in Covid-19 cases is sufficient enough to allow the restrictions to be lifted or eased by the Government and in turn inspections recommenced by the team. Restrictions may be extended further by the Government depending upon the situation at the relevant time and these will dictate the inspection process and regime undertaken by the team for the foreseeable future.
All staff continue to work from home and have limited access to incoming and outgoing postal mail and correspondence is best via e-mail where possible. Any visits arranged during the pandemic may be subject to cancellation or change at short notice if there are changes to National, local or Council-directed policy, legislation or requirements, or where it is considered that appropriate precautions and/or social-distancing cannot be achieved.
These changes have been made to protect customers and staff from contracting or spreading the virus during these difficult times.
As well as advice on Coronavirus available via other links on the Arun District Council website, the following links may also be of particular use in regards to Housing issues: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-services-for-people-experiencing-rough-sleeping/covid-19-guidance-for-hostel-or-day-centre-providers-of-services-for-people-experiencing-rough-sleeping
Arun is leading the Local Authority Flexible Eligibility Scheme (LA Flex) on behalf for all West Sussex local authorities. Companies can approach Arun with applications from residents for ECO (Energy Company Obligation) funding for loft and cavity wall insulation. We are not working with any specific companies or endorsing their work, residents need to carry out their our checks to make sure they are happy before they proceed. Arun only approve funding if residents are eligible. SOI West Sussex Fuel Poverty Partnership V2.2 .pdf [pdf] 321KB For detailed information on the eligibility criteria and process for referring households into the West Sussex Flexible Eligibility Scheme please contact Emma Pagett, Fuel Poverty Co-ordinator email: Affordable.Warmth@arun.gov.uk or visit https://www.westsussexenergy.co.uk/article/31501/Financial-help-with-energy-efficiency.
Solar Panel Scheme - Solar Together Sussex
Register for a group buying scheme to get solar panels for your home at a competitive price.
Solar Together Sussex is supported by councils across Sussex, including West Sussex County Council and Arun District Council. It is a group buying scheme that will save you money on installing solar panels at home.
By generating electricity from the sun, you could reduce your annual carbon emissions by approximately one tonne each year and help us to make West Sussex carbon neutral by 2030.
Registration is free and there’s no obligation to go ahead once you receive your personal recommendation. Here’s what to do next:
- Free registration – You can register for the scheme from 1st September 2020. You need to provide details of your roof, like its size and position. The more people that register, the better the deal for each household. Registration doesn’t commit you to anything.
- Auction – An ‘auction’ will be held on 6th October when our pre-vetted solar installers will bid for the work.
- Personal recommendation (offer) – You’ll be contacted from 26th October with a personalised offer based on the specifications of your roof. This will include the cost and return on investment from the solar panel installation.
- You decide – You can choose to accept or reject the offer. There is no obligation to continue. You’ll have until 11th December to decide and you’ll be invited to a local information session if you want to go ahead.
- Installation – If you accept the offer, you will be contacted by the winning supplier will contact you to schedule a survey of your roof and set an installation date.
To find out more about Solar Together Sussex, whether your home could be suitable for solar panels and how to register for the scheme, visit www.solartogether.co.uk/sussex
Green Home Grants
The government will provide a voucher that covers up to two thirds of the cost of qualifying improvements to your home. The maximum value of the voucher is £5,000. You may be able to receive a higher level of subsidy if you are a homeowner and either you or a member of your household receives one of the qualifying means-tested benefits, covering 100% of the cost of the improvements. The maximum value of these vouchers is £10,000. Landlords cannot apply for the low-income part of the scheme. Please visit the government simple energy website to look at your options and apply:
You can also call them on 0800 444202
Information for landlords regarding this scheme can be found at:
Arun District Council were successful in a joint bid to support people on a low income (under £30k) and with a low EPC E,F or G to improve the insulation in their homes. We are working with a company called Agility Eco:
Go to www.warmerhomes.org.uk and apply online
Call 0800 038 5737 (free)
Landlords: Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) for Private Rented Properties Update
Since 1 April 2020, landlords can no longer let or continue to let properties covered by the MEES Regulations if they have an EPC rating below E, unless they have a valid exemption in place.
- If you are currently planning to let a property with an EPC rating of F or G, you need to improve the property’s rating to E, or register an exemption, before you enter into a new tenancy.
- If you are currently letting a property with an EPC rating of F or G, and you haven’t already taken action, you must improve the property’s rating to E immediately, or register an exemption.
- If your property is currently empty, and you are not planning to let it, you don’t need to take any action to improve its rating until you decide to let it again.
For further information please look at
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 - Robin Hood Energy to end
We have been informed of Nottingham City Council’s decision to sell its licensed energy company, Robin Hood Energy, to Centrica who are the parent company for British Gas.
As our energy supply partner Robin Hood Energy has provided competitive tariffs for Sussex residents under the Your Energy Sussex brand, which was launched to encourage more people in Sussex to switch and save.
Since its launch in February 2018, Your Energy Sussex has provided residents with a local, alternative, not-for-profit energy supplier focusing on:
- Consistently competitive tariffs;
- 100% renewable electricity for all customers;
- Clear customer communication and excellent customer service;
- Supporting households at risk of fuel poverty.
Your Energy Sussex secured 3,750 customers in its first year of operation and went on to cover its set up and operating costs from commission payments.
As a not-for-profit supplier, any surplus after operating costs was used to build a fuel poverty fund to support local residents.
During 2020, the fund was used to provide more than 400 vulnerable pre-payment energy customers with emergency fuel vouchers through a joint project with Citizens Advice.
The sale of Robin Hood Energy will mean that Your Energy Sussex customers will be transferred to British Gas.
Your Energy Sussex customers will not be worse off as a result of the sale.
We have been working with Nottingham City Council and Robin Hood Energy to ensure that local customers are fully informed and protected during the transfer.
- There will be no interruption to customers’ energy supply and credit balances on accounts will be protected.
- Customers will either be able to continue with their existing energy tariff for the duration of their current supply agreement or be able to switch supplier without penalty within 30 days of being notified of the sale.
- From 17th September the new supplier will write to each customer twice in 30 days following the sale and ask their permission to migrate.
- If, after 30 days, the customer hasn’t left or responded to ‘opt in’ to the new supplier, they will be placed on a tariff with the new supplier which doesn’t have exit fees.
The Your Energy Sussex brand will cease to exist once customers have been transferred to the new supplier.
We expect the final customers to be transferred in November 2020.
With our partners, we will continue to encourage residents to compare their energy costs and switch to save money and promote the benefits of using renewable energy at home.
Free home energy visits for Arun residents
Arun Wellbeing Home service is here to help you Keep Warm and Keep Well. The free, friendly service aims to make your home more comfortable, energy efficient, and save you money.
They support people who live in their own home or in privately-rented accomodation and are in fuel poverty or have health conditions affected or made worst by cold homes.
The qualified energy adviser supports you to improve the warmth of your home and reduce energy bills, provides information on tariff-switching and eligibility for grants, and advice on low-cost installable measures.
They can provide phone advice or, where necessary, visit your home.
(Please note: home visits & installing low cost energy saving measures are currently not available due to Covid-19).
Pleast visit Arun Wellbeing Home for more information.
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.
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
The smart export guarantee (SEG) is an obligation set by the government for licensed electricity suppliers to offer a tariff and make payment to small-scale low-carbon generators for electricity exported to the National Grid, providing certain criteria are met. The SEG comes into force on 1 January 2020. For more information please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/the-future-for-small-scale-low-carbon-generation
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
Previous versions of Statement of Intent – now superseded
V1.0 – Active between 22nd January 2018 and 30th May 2019 SOI West Sussex Fuel Poverty Partnership v1.0 - SUPERSEDED 30.05.19.pdf [pdf] 901KB
V2.0 - Active between 31st May 2019 and 23rd August 2019 SOI West Sussex Fuel Poverty Partnership v2.0 SUPERSEDED 27.08.19.pdf [pdf] 570KB
V2.1 - Active between 24 August 2019 and 5 January 2020 SOI West Sussex Fuel Poverty Partnership v2.1.pdf [pdf] 327KB