Green Homes Grant: how can landlords make their properties more eco-friendly?

Green Homes Grant: how can landlords make their properties more eco-friendly?

Save money, time and the environment with the new Green Homes Scheme from the government.

Concerns over how we impact the environment have encouraged many of us to think about how we can lead ‘greener’ lives. From recycling and composting through to using energy efficient lightbulbs or reducing our food miles by shopping local – there are plenty of things we can try to shrink our carbon footprint.

The Government’s Clean Growth Strategy has brought environmental concerns into even sharper focus for domestic landlords.

The energy efficiency of our homes is rated through Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), with all properties that are let or sold given a mark from A (the most energy efficient) to G (the least).

Currently, a property needs to have an EPC rating of band E or better to be let in England. But under the proposed strategy new lettings will need to be at least EPC band C by 1 April 2025, while all tenancies will need to comply by 1 April 2028. The overall ambition – where cost efficient to do so – is to upgrade all homes, rental or otherwise, to EPC level C by 2035.

The recently launched Green Homes Grant is an opportunity for landlords to make energy efficiency improvements at a reduced cost. The money comes in the form of vouchers that are available for all domestic properties except new builds. They can fund up to two thirds of the cost of improvements, with landlords able to apply for a maximum of £5,000.

There are, however, strict criteria on what improvements are eligible. The vouchers must be used for at least one primary measure such as insulation, air or ground source heat pumps or biomass boilers. They can then also be used to cover the cost of secondary measures such as draught proofing, double glazing or heating controls like smart thermostats. Measures such as damp proofing and boiler repair or replacement are not included.

All work must be carried out by TrustMark or a Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) approved supplier and applications can be made via the Simply Energy Advice website. Once approved all work must be completed by 31st March 2021.

Recent experiences suggest that the energy efficiency of homes is only going to become more important. A strong EPC rating will help your property to stand out from the crowd, particularly among the growing number of tenants who are increasingly concerned around the green credentials of their homes and the impact they have on the environment.

If you need any more advice on letting your property, please speak to our lettings team.

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