Government announces new campaign to enforce minimum energy efficiency standards in England and Wales

22 October 2021

Councils will receive new government funding to enforce Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards in rented homes across England and Wales, and raise awareness of landlord and agent obligations.

Councils across England and Wales will share funding of £4.3 million from the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy to help them raise awareness of and enforce the current energy efficiency standards in rented homes. Since April 2020, all private rented homes have required a minimum energy performance rating of EPC Band E. This new campaign "forms part of the government’s actions to protect consumers, particularly those on lower incomes" in the wake of rising gas prices.

The funds will help councils make 100,000 extra engagements with landlords and their agents, to encourage them to comply with the regulations and raise awareness of their obligations. Councils will, amongst other measures, put the funding towards:

  • Enhanced and targeted mail reminders and translation services
  • Local radio ads
  • Roadshows and workshops with landlords to raise awareness of the rules
  • Free property surveys

The councils that will receive the funding were chosen via a competition that closed in July 2021. The full list of the winning councils can be found on the government's website

Tenants living in rented accommodation with poor insulation may struggle to heat their homes during the winter, particularly in the midst of the energy crisis. Current regulations mean that landlords with properties that fall short of the band E rating are expected to upgrade them by installing loft insulation, double glazing, and cavity wall insulation, among other areas, to bring the properties up to the required standard.

Keep your agency compliant:  Read our guide to lettings legislation  in the private rented sector 

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) will only become more stringent in the future, as the government has already proposed increasing the minimum energy efficiency standards for private rented properties to EPC Band C on new tenancies by 2028. 

This new funding announcement comes days after the government announced its Net Zero and Heat and Buildings strategies, which outline the support to be made available to equip homeowners to decarbonise their homes in an affordable way. This includes the new Green Home Finance programme, where £10 million will go towards the development of new energy efficiency products and green finance services, such as heat pumps.

This article is intended as a guide only and does not constitute legal advice. For more information visit gov.uk.

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