A cold home is one that cannot be economically maintained at temperatures of 18 to 21oC. Even when it is minus 1oC outside, the heating system should be capable of maintaining these temperatures inside.

People who live in cold homes are more at risk of becoming ill. If a property does not have adequate heating, it can be a danger to the health of all the people who live there. Older residents are the most at risk if they cannot keep their homes warm.

If a household has to spend more than 10 per cent of their income on heating, they are classed as being in fuel poverty. If you make your home more energy efficient, it will cost you less to heat. This means you can keep warm and save money.

If you rent your home and think it is too cold, you can ask your landlord to make improvements. If they refuse, you can contact us for advice or make a complaint by using our Contact Private Housing form.

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) – guidance for landlords

If you are a landlord, you should aim to achieve an energy efficiency rating of D (the average) or higher for your rented properties and to provide an affordable heating system that is capable of achieving temperatures of 18 – 21oC. Systems must be well maintained and tenants shown how to use them effectively.

Rented properties must have a Minimum Energy Performance Certificate rating of E. To find out if the property you are letting is covered by this legislation, please visit the gov.uk guidance page.

Switching and saving

Rother District Council have partnered with iChoosr to help our residents switch energy supplier and save money through a collective energy switching scheme, find out more and register on the Big Community Switch website.

Grants and help

Some ways you can do to make your property more energy efficient are:

  • Control your heating. Set the temperature to at least 18oC to keep your home warm.
  • Draught proof your home. Keeping the heat in will make your home more affordable to keep warm.
  • Insulate your home. Up to a third of the heating in your home is lost through poorly insulated walls.

Private tenants and homeowners may be able to get a grant for insulation and possibly heating improvements:

  • The East Sussex Warm Home Check Service has a new freephone telephone number: 0800 464 7307. You can still refer online at Warm East Sussex or by texting WARM to 80011, but the service can now be contacted through the above freephone direct number. Now is a great time to refer to the service to help your clients be prepared for the winter months.
  • If you would like advice to make your home more energy efficient please visit Warmer Sussex Plan Builder.
  • Homeowners and Landlords should contact Energise Sussex Coast for advice and information.

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO)

What is ECO and what measures are available?

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) places legal obligations on energy suppliers to deliver energy efficiency and heating measures to eligible households. The main objective of ECO4 is to reduce fuel poverty by improving the least energy efficient homes occupied by low income, vulnerable and fuel poor households. It also seeks to contribute towards a reduction in carbon emissions.

Eligible households can receive funding from obligated suppliers towards a range of measures including the replacement of broken heating systems, the upgrade of inefficient systems and the installation of insulation.

The Electricity and Gas (Energy Company Obligation) Order 2022 (ECO4 Order), or the “ECO4” scheme, covers the period from 1 April 2022 until 31 March 2026. Customers who are part of the ‘core group’ of the Warm Home Discount scheme or are in receipt of certain benefits are eligible for ECO. Local authorities can also declare that households are eligible for ECO through ECO4 flexible eligibility or “ECO4 Flex”.

Where can I find out more information?

Ofgem (the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets) administers the scheme on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) who set the overall policy for the scheme.
You can find answers to common questions about the ECO scheme here: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/environmental-programmes/eco/support-improving-your-home

Who is eligible under ECO4 Flex and how do I apply?

For a household to be assessed for ECO4 Flex eligibility we require a completed application form, along with supporting documents, such as proof of income. The ECO4 Flex eligibility criteria are detailed in our Statement of Intent.

Once we have confirmed a household’s eligibility, we will provide a written declaration that a household qualifies for support under ECO4 Flex.

To make an application for an ECO4 Flex declaration of eligibility, households will need to apply through an approved contractor.

Residents in East Sussex who are struggling to keep warm at home, and who would like to improve the energy efficiency of their home, can get advice from the Warm Home Check service.

If you are a contractor and you wish to obtain a declaration of eligibility for a household in East Sussex, please email fuelpoverty@hastings.gov.uk for an application form. Please be aware that prior to considering any applications, you will need to provide a letter from the energy supply company funding the ECO Flex measure(s) confirming you are acting directly on behalf of the energy supplier and you have authorisation to install ECO Flex measure(s) on their behalf.

Where is your Statement of Intent?

Our joint Statement of Intent for ECO4 Flex sets out flexible eligibility criteria used by all local authorities in East Sussex for the Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) scheme from April 2022 – March 2026 and was published on 14 October 2022.
East Sussex ECO4 Flex Statement of Intent – version 1.0

The Home Energy Conservation Act 1995 requires the Council to publish a progress report on its web site, every 2 years until March 2027. An on-line survey must also be submitted to the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy.

This Statement of Intent replaces the previous ECO3 Flex versions which can be found here:

Home Energy Conservation Act (HECA)

Hastings Borough Council assesses applications and issues the ECO4 Flexible Eligibility Declaration for its own residents and for the residents of other districts/boroughs on behalf of Eastbourne Borough Council, Lewes District Council, Rother District Council and Wealden District Council only.

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