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Renters in Thirsk and Easingwold Warned to Check Energy Certificates

house of the week

2:18pm 15th February 2013

Tenants – and would be tenants – are being urged to guard against falling into fuel debt.

Many are unaware that landlords have a duty to provide information on how much their properties cost to heat.

Since October 2008 Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) have to be available on each rented home – giving it a rating based on how much it is likely to cost in energy annually.    The assessment is based on the age, layout, construction, insulation, lighting and heating – rating a home from band A to G.   The higher the band the more efficient the property and the less the bills will be.

And to help, Hambleton and Richmondshire District Council’s Environmental Health team has produced a new leaflet explaining the need for EPC’s and what rights tenants have to them.

“Many of the complaints and enquiries we receive are about private rented properties that suffer from condensation, dampness, mould growth and excess cold,” said Environmental Health Officer, Joy Swithenbank.

“In the majority of cases tenants simply cannot afford to heat their homes to a reasonable level of comfort – because of the year on year rises in energy tariffs.”

She said that the annual cost of heating a home is currently £1,365 – which rises to £2,100 for properties off the gas grid.  That is contributing to the 27,000 excess winter deaths due to hypothermia – and the expectation that six million households will be in fuel poverty by 2016.

EPC’s also identify improvements which the landlord can make that will increase the rating - many of which could be simple measures such as installing loft or cavity wall insulation. Many schemes are in operation that offer discounts on insulation and replacement boilers which can be accessed by both the tenant and Landlord.

For advice on schemes contact the Yorkshire Energy Partnership on 01904 545020; yorkshireenergypartnership.org.uk.

For advice on rented property disrepair or for a copy of the council’s free leaflet on EPC contact Environmental Health at Hambleton or Richmondshire District Councils on 01609 767215. 

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