Landlords could face fines if their homes are not energy efficient
Rhiannon James, local democracy reporter
Senior councillors in Caerphilly have backed plans to fine landlords if their homes are not energy efficient.
Adoption of the enforcement action aims to improve the energy efficiency of the private rented sector and, as a result, reduce tenants’ energy bills.
A report presented to the council’s cabinet stated: “A tenant living in a substandard property could be paying £1,413 extra in energy bills due to the landlord’s unwillingness to meet their legal obligation.”
Private landlords are legally obligated to comply with Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) and Caerphilly County Borough Council has now adopted a policy allowing it to fine landlords who don’t.
Homes are given Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) and are ranked based on their energy performance. The rankings range from “A” which is peak energy efficiency to “G” which is the least energy efficient home.
The rating is based on factors such as age, layout, heating, lighting, and insulation. If a home falls into categories F or G, then landlords could face a fine.
At the meeting, cabinet member for housing, Cllr Shayne Cook, said enforcement action was “always a last resort”.
Landlords are expected to spend a maximum of £3,500 to better the energy efficiency of the property. If the landlord has spent the maximum and the property continues to rank as an F or G, then they are able to register an exemption.
The council has recently been granted £60,000 from the UK Government towards the enforcement policy. The cabinet was told this was spent on the employment of an Energy Compliance Officer and an Admin Support Officer.
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Good idea – but the law of unintended consequences says:
“Cue the rise of dishonest energy efficiency estimators and/or fake reports and/or invoices for imaginary ‘improvements’.”