Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Many people are worried about Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how this could affect their housing. Click here to find out what COVID-19 means for you.

Energy saving improvements

Private rented properties in Wales must have an energy rating of E or above. Landlords who rent out properties with a low energy rating can face a fine.

There are steps you can take to improve the energy efficiency of your home and you might qualify for some help towards improvements.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

If you are worried about your gas or electricity bills during the pandemic, speak to your energy supplier. You could get support including:

  • reduced bills or debt repayments
  • a temporary break in your bills or debt arrangements
  • a change to your bill payment plan.

If you have a pre-payment meter and you are worried about how you are going to top it up, your supplier may be able to :

  • arrange for someone else to top it up
  • add credit to your account automatically
  • send you a pre-loaded top-up card.

If you are struggling to pay your energy and water bills during the pandemic you can get more advice and help from National Energy Action (NEA). Read more about help with your energy bills here.

What does my landlord have to do?

Private landlords must :

  • arrange an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) on any property they intend to let
  • ensure that any property they intend to let out has an EPC rating of at least band ‘E’. From 1 April 2020, this will be extended to require landlords to ensure that all properties have an EPC rating of at least band ‘E’ regardless of when that tenancy started
  • provide tenants with a copy of the EPC, dated within the last 10 years.

A landlord who fails to comply could face a fine of up to £5,000 and risk having their Rent Smart Wales licence removed.

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

The Nest scheme

The Welsh Government 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 website has lots of useful information and you can also ring their freephone helpline on 0808 808 2244.

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:

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

Free

  • 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.

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 08000 495 495.

Phone an adviser

If you have a housing problem, call our expert housing advice helpline
08000 495 495

Email an adviser

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

This page was last updated on: May 19, 2020

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.

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