Landlords who have tenants on benefit could take advantage of special funding to improve the energy efficiency of their properties.
Dean Murray, managing director of North-West energy efficiency company Green Deal Solutions, said: “If your tenant receives benefits, you may be able to get insulation in the property for free, and could also apply for a free boiler upgrade or repair.
“The Government recently launched the Green Deal scheme, but we want people to know that there are a number of other funding sources available to home owners and landlords, and the bottom line is that they are all designed to help people in this country stay warm and save money.”
As part of the Green Deal, the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) requires the six biggest energy companies in the UK to provide around £1.3bn a year to improve the energy efficiency of housing stock.
The Carbon Saving Obligation (CSO) means that £760m a year will be used for the hardest to treat properties, which are those where the repayment cost of installing energy efficiency measures exceeds the current monthly bills.
In order to be eligible for CSO funding, the property assessment must recommend solid wall insulation.
The Affordable Warmth Obligation allocates £350m of ECO funding to help get people out of fuel poverty. Grants that are given as part of this part of the obligation are based on people’s financial circumstances.
There is also the Carbon Saving Community Obligation, also designed to help the most fuel poor households, but grants are given based on location and can be given to any property in the most deprived areas of the UK.
By 2016, new rules state that landlords will not be able to refuse a reasonable request from a tenant for Green Deal or ECO funded energy efficiency upgrades to the property, so Murray says that using the funding while it is available is strongly advised.
He said: “Green Deal assessors like us will automatically check if your property or tenants are eligible for one of these grants, and can advise on what funding might be available to you.”