Thermal image of well insulated housing in the foreground and poorly insulated housing behind.
Thermal image of well insulated housing in the foreground and poorly insulated housing behind.
By Councillor Emma Taylor – Heene Ward

Since 2018 it has been illegal to privately rent a home with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of below E and last week the Council committed to clamping down on Worthing’s landlords by enforcing these rules.

Whilst I welcome any action to better regulate landlords and improve the energy efficiency of people’s homes, the standard set here is simply too low!

The scale spans from A-G with A being highest and D being the average. Why should landlords be allowed to rent properties that perform below average, costing tenants more to run and producing more carbon emissions?

EPC certificates have been shown to influence consumer behaviour as more people, if they have a choice, will consider the environmental impact and running costs of their household appliances before making a purchase. However the ever increasing demand for rented accommodation in Worthing, combined with high levels of deprivation in many areas means that tenants are left vulnerable to uncaring and greedy landlords who will happily evict and replace them rather than address their concerns.

We are facing an energy bills crisis right now. The price cap went up by 12% in October and is set to rise again in April by as much as 50% according to industry predictions. I am deeply concerned about how many people in Worthing are experiencing hidden hunger and fuel poverty whilst struggling to pay their rent. I am also acutely aware of the Climate Emergency that we are all facing and with 40% of UK carbon emissions coming from homes this should be an area we address urgently with strong
and meaningful action.

For these reasons I would like to see Worthing Borough Council take a more radical approach to reducing household emissions and ending fuel poverty. A landlord licensing scheme would mean certain mandatory conditions could be set to protect tenants such as ensuring gas, electrical and fire safety requirements are fully complied with, as well as setting a higher bar for the energy efficiency standards.

This would be a badge of honour for our decent landlords and ensure that anyone renting in Worthing can be confident of having a decent and safe home that is more manageable to heat. At the same time we could give a boost to the green economy by offering grants for home owners to invest in better insulation and green technologies such as air source heat pumps and solar panels.


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