Energy saving improvements

You might be able to save money by making energy saving improvements to your home. You might qualify for help for improvements through a government scheme or from your energy supplier.

Since April 2018 private landlords could face a fine if they rent out a property with a low energy efficiency rating.

What does my landlord have to do?

Private landlords must arrange an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) on any property they intend to let. EPCs last for 10 years and should give any prospective tenant an idea of how much it will cost to heat the property.

EPCs include graphs showing the current and potential energy efficiency rating and environmental impact (CO2 rating) of the property.

From the 1st April 2018, private landlords must ensure that any property they intend to let out has an EPC rating of at least band ‘E’.

From 1 April 2020, a private landlord will be in breach of the regulations if s/he continues to a let a property that has an EPC rating below band ‘E’.

A landlord who fails to comply could face a fine of up to £5,000.

To find an existing EPC for your property, click here.

The Nest scheme

The Welsh Government Warm Homes Nest scheme provides advice on saving energy, money management, energy tariffs, and benefit entitlement.

Anyone can use the scheme and if you own or privately rent your home and are on a low income you may be eligible for home improvements at no cost. These can include new boilers and insulation.

The Green Deal scheme

The Green Deal is a government scheme providing loans for energy efficiency home improvements. These include energy efficient boilers, double glazing or insulation.

You can apply if you are a home owner, landlord or tenant but both the landlord and the tenant must agree to the improvements if the building is rented.

The cost of the loan is paid through the electricity bill at the property over a set period of time. This means future tenants or homeowners will take over the loan repayments.

The amount of energy you use should go down once the new equipment is installed, but you may not see a reduction in your bills. This is because you will be repaying the Green Deal loan.

Find out more about Green Deal from Gov.UK

The Affordable Warmth scheme

You may qualify for a new boiler, loft insulation or cavity wall insulation through the Affordable Warmth scheme.

The scheme is provided by energy suppliers for homeowners and private tenants who claim certain benefits. These include:

  • income support
  • income based jobseekers allowance (JSA)
  • income related employment and support allowance (ESA)
  • pension guarantee credit
  • personal independence payment (PIP)

You can also apply if you claim child tax credits and working tax credit.

You can apply to any energy supplier’s scheme, even if you don’t get your gas or electricity from them.

You won’t qualify for the scheme if you are a council or housing association tenant.

Find out more from GOV.UK or contact your energy provider.

Energy saving tips

These tips will help you save money and manage your energy bills:


  • turn off appliances when not in use
  • turn down the thermostat by 1 degree Celsius
  • reduce washing machine cycle to 30 degrees Celsius
  • use a bowl to wash the dishes instead of leaving the hot tap running
  • keep shower heads clean.

Under £100

  • Swap inefficient bulbs for low energy bulbs
  • Fit draught excluders to windows and doors
  • Seal and fill in gaps in the skirting boards
  • Fit a boiler jacket

Over £100

  • Fit a cap over the chimney or a blocker to exclude drafts
  • Fill cavity walls with insulation in houses built after 1920
  • Install a room thermostat, programmer and thermostatic radiator valves
  • Fit loft insulation
  • Install solar panels

For more advice on how to make your home more energy efficient visit the Simple Energy Advice website.

Problems paying energy bills

If you have problems with fuel bills or debt you can get free, confidential, face-to-face help from specialist Shelter Cymru debt advisers at several locations in Wales. Click here to find details of the debt advice surgeries nearest to you. You can also contact the Energy Saving Trust.

We are sorry that we cannot provide this information in Welsh, however if you would like to speak to an adviser in Welsh please contact 0345 075 5005.

Phone an adviser

If you have a housing problem, call our expert housing advice helpline
0345 075 5005

Email an adviser

If you have a non-urgent problem and would like to speak to an advisor
email us

This page was last updated on: November 26, 2018

Shelter Cymru acknowledges the support of Shelter in allowing us to adapt their content. The information contained on this site is updated and maintained by Shelter Cymru and only gives general guidance on the law in Wales. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law.