Croydon is launching a new green homes programme to help save residents money on their energy bills by making their properties greener and more energy efficient.
Through the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard programme, the council will help make Croydon a better and greener place to rent by supporting and advising private landlords to increase energy performance certificate ratings.
An energy performance certificate (EPC), which tells you how energy efficient your home is, sees an independent inspector provide a grade from A through G.
The council has recently adopted its first Carbon Neutral Action Plan, and set an ambitious target to reach carbon neutrality by 2030. By improving EPC ratings in more properties, Croydon seeks to address domestic heating and electricity usage, which currently makes up 46% of CO2 emissions in the borough.
Currently, the council is in the process of identifying properties that fall below the legal minimum energy efficiency standard. So far, it has already identified 1400 properties in Croydon with an EPC rating of F and G. Heating, insulation, and other factors can lead to low EPC ratings, and very low ratings can lead to properties not legally being allowed to be let and penalties of up to £4000.
By working with these landlords, the council can help them avoid penalties, keeping more homes compliant, meanwhile bringing down home energy costs for renters and landlords alike.
This programme is part of a wider set of home energy efficiency initiatives, including the council’s successful Croydon Healthy Homes scheme, which offers free support to low-income and vulnerable residents to help reduce their fuel bills and make their home more energy efficient.
The service offers tenants and homeowners advice and support accessing external grants from the government and energy companies to insulate their homes and improve the energy efficiency of their property. They also provide support on using heating systems more efficiency, ways to reduce overall energy usage, as well as advice about tariffs and payment methods, smart meters, and more.
On just some of their smaller initiatives, Croydon Healthy Homes has saved an estimated 74 tonnes of CO2 emissions between 2018 – 2020, supporting 828 households.
The council has recently brought this service in-house, recruiting a team of qualified energy advisors to offer a more joined-up, flexible approach to addressing fuel poverty. The team will be working closely with other council services and the voluntary community sector. Croydon will be ramping up the scheme this year offering an improved service, tailored to individual household needs.
“We have set a target for Croydon to reach carbon neutrality by 2030, and home energy consumption is the most significant contributor to CO2 emissions in the borough, so we must do everything in our power to bring those numbers down. If we can get a majority of the properties we have already identified to meet or exceed the minimum energy standard, it will be a major step toward our goal.
“This is also about affordability – if too many properties fail their EPC rating in Croydon, that will take them off the market and drive rent costs up. Inefficiency is also costing tenants money on their increasingly high fuel bills – leading to fuel poverty – so it is deeply beneficial to provide as much support as we can to families, all while reaching our climate goals.”
Councillor Muhammad Ali, cabinet member for sustainable Croydon
The council’s own housing stock has an average EPC rating of C. Where individual properties fall below a C, the council is working to improve these properties as part of its asset management strategy.
To learn more about Croydon’s Carbon Neutral Action Plan and sustainability initiatives, visit the council website.