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.

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 let has an EPC rating of at least band ‘E’
  • provide contract-holders 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.

What can I do to improve the energy efficiency of my rented home?

If you rent from a private landlord there are steps you can take to improve the energy efficiency of your home and you might qualify for some help towards improvements. You might be able to apply to:

  • the Nest Scheme
  • the Boiler Upgrade Scheme
  • the Connected for Warmth insulation scheme
  • the Home Upgrade Grant scheme –  if you don’t use mains gas to heat your home
  • the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme

You can read more about these schemes below. They might be able to help with a variety of energy efficiency improvements. For example you may get help with the cost of insulation, a heat pump, a new boiler or boiler repairs. These measures should help you to save money and keep your home warmer, which in turn can help to prevent problems such as damp.

If you are a homeowner looking to find schemes to help you improve the energy efficiency of your home, see Gov.UK’s information about the Green Deal.

Do I need my landlord’s consent to make energy efficiency improvements?

If you rent from a private landlord and want to make energy efficiency improvements to your home at your own expense, you should get your landlord’s permission before doing so. Check your occupation contract to see whether there are any supplementary terms or additional terms about whether you are permitted to make certain changes to the property. If your contract allows this with the landlord’s consent, then your landlord should not refuse your request without good reason.

Even if your contract does not cover making changes, energy efficiency regulations give you the right to request to make energy efficiency improvements to your home at your own expense (including if you have some or part of the cost covered by a scheme listed on this page or through other means). The landlord should not refuse your request unreasonably.

You should make your request in writing, including the details of the energy efficiency improvement you want to make. You should also include information about how the work will be paid for, who will carry out the work, quotes and any reports that make recommendations specific to your home. You can find more detailed information about making a request using the energy efficiency regulations in the UK Government guidance.

Although your landlord can only refuse consent for reasons listed in the guidance, it is worth thinking about whether your landlord might try to evict you if you challenge a refusal to give consent. Your landlord may be able to evict you without having to give a reason. For more information, please see our advice about eviction by a private landlord.

Get help if your landlord is trying to evict you.

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 Boiler Upgrade Scheme

You might be able to get a grant towards the cost of replacing your heating system with a heat pump or biomass boiler.

Your current heating system must use oil, gas or electricity. If you already have a heat pump, you can’t use the grant to replace it.

You’ll usually need to pay some of the costs yourself.

Check if you can get help from the Boiler Upgrade Scheme on GOV.UK

The Connected for Warmth insulation scheme

If your home is in council tax band A, B, C or D, you might be eligible for free loft or cavity wall insulation.

If you own your home, you can apply for the Connected for Warmth scheme on their website.

If you rent from a private landlord, your landlord needs to apply on your behalf.

Applying for a Home Upgrade Grant

If you don’t use mains gas to heat your home, you might be able to get help with things like insulation and improving your heating.

You’re probably not using mains gas if you use other types of fuel to heat your home – for example electricity, oil, coal or wood.

To get a Home Upgrade Grant, one of the following must be true:

In most cases your income before tax must also be under £31,000. This includes your partner’s income if you live with them.

If your income is £31,000 or more, you might still be able to get a Home Upgrade Grant because of where you live. Contact an adviser at Citizens Advice to help you check if you can get one.

Contact your local council to find out if the Home Upgrade Grant scheme is available in your area – you can find your local council on GOV.UK.

You might also be able to get help with your bills if you use alternative fuels to heat your home. To find out more visit Citizens Advice  .

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 contract-holder but both the landlord and the contract-holder 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 contract-holders 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 contract-holders 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.

If you rent your home from a community landlord, you can only apply for help with the costs of installing insulation or a heating system for the first time.

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

Applying to the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme

You might be able to get help with things like insulation, boilers and improving your heating.

You can apply if you get any of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit
  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support

If you don’t get any of these benefits, you might be able to apply to the ECO scheme if you get Child Benefit or in certain ither situations. For more information visit Citizens Advice.

To apply for help from the ECO scheme Fill in the referral form on the Warm Wales website. They can help you find out what support you can get from the ECO scheme.

They can also help you find out if you’re eligible for other help – for example, from the Nest scheme.

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.

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

Email an adviser

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

Did you find this helpful?

This page was last updated on: June 14, 2023

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.