In November last year, we wrote an article explaining The Green Homes Grant Scheme. This scheme gave landlords access to funding to help with energy efficiency improvements.
The Government had launched the £1.5bn programme to help towards the UK's target for 2050 net-zero emissions. The property sector welcomed the scheme as it was an opportunity to stimulate the economy following lockdown.
The Government announced that the Green Grant Scheme would stop on 31 March 2021. This was a very unexpected announcement, and the reason given was that there was not enough uptake in the grants. However, they have been criticised for having a lengthy and confusing application process. This meant that by the time the grants had been allocated, it was difficult for homeowners to find approved installers to carry out the work before the vouchers expired.
If you applied for a voucher before 31 March 2021, your application will still be processed, and you will receive confirmation if your application is successful.
If you have already been issued a voucher, you can still use it to get the work done. You should redeem your voucher before it expires.
So, what does this mean for landlords? The Green Homes Grant Scheme allowed landlords the opportunity to apply for funding towards energy improvements to their properties. This would have helped to utility bills which would have been welcomed by the tenants, as well as helping tackle climate change.
The funding is no longer available; however, landlords should still be aware of the potential future minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) requirements being increased.
Currently, landlords must ensure that they achieve an EPC rating of E or above to let a property.
There was a recent consultation which ended in January 2021 to gather views on whether private rented sector homes should achieve an EPC minimum rating of C by 2030.
We are still waiting to hear the outcome of the consultation, but in the meantime, landlords should be mindful of energy efficiency improvements they can make during property refurbishments or routine upgrades over the coming years. This approach would be better than waiting and potentially incurring more costs at the last minute if the EPC rating level is increased. We also await news of any potential re-introduction of this Grant scheme or similar.
We support landlords by managing their properties on their behalf and giving advice about any new legislation that they need. If you would like any advice, please do contact our team. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can call us at one of our offices. Nottingham: 0115 704 3163 or Mansfield 01623 277 115.