Westminster City Council has opened the doors to a retrofitted show home, a one-bedroom terraced flat in Queen’s Park, to encourage residents to make their home more energy efficient.
Improvements made to the show home include:
- Internal wall and underfloor insulation
- Thermally efficient windows and doors
- Replacing the gas boiler with an energy-efficient air source heat pump
- Changing the gas cooker to an electric hob, eliminating gas use at the property
- Powering the home by solar panels on the roof with battery storage.
Ealing Council are trialling ultra-thin infrared heating in 25 properties.
Both these schemes have replaced gas central heating with electric based heating. Whilst these are delivering cost savings for residents, it should be noted that the current EPC regime is based on cost savings with the assumption that gas is cheaper than electricity for heating. We continue to push the Government to publish their new MEES standards and EPC requirements for rental properties, following their consultation, which closed in March 2021.
Commercial landlords will be required to meet the same standards as the PRS from 1 April 2023, when all non-residential rented properties will require a minimum EPC of E. Like residential landlords, it expected that they will be required to meet an EPC of C or above from April 2025, with an EPC of B or better from 2028.
Many local authorities offer advice and grants to help fund energy saving measures. This is particularly so for landlords who have tenants on benefits, who may be able to access funds under the LAD Scheme, which is funded by the reallocation of the ill-fated Green Homes Grant. Although the scheme states it is for homes with EPC of E or below, our members have accessed it on properties with an EPC of D as the target EPC after works is C or better.
Search your local authority’s website for details of the schemes and grants they are offering.