Thursday 3 May, 2012
By Martin Fagan
Renting energy inefficient properties mean tenants lose out by £990m a year.
Rental properties that lack basic energy saving measures such as insulation mean tenants miss out on savings of over £990 million a year, according to new research.
Conducted by energy giant E.ON, the research indicated a significant difference in the views of tenants and homeowners on energy savings.
Only two in 10 renters have made any attempt to make their home more energy fit, compared with 78% of homeowners who have made some energy efficiency improvements to their property.
E.ON says the confusion around responsibility between landlords and tenants for energy efficiency improvements means tenants are missing out on estimated average savings of almost £400 a year per household, through methods such as the installing double-glazing, loft and cavity wall insulation.
Londoners were the least savvy energy savers, with a quarter admitting to being unaware of the £400 saving on offer. In comparison, 90% of canny Scots were aware of the savings.
With over three million private rented properties across the UK, and rising house prices leading to people renting for longer, E.ON is calling on landlords to make their rental properties “energy fit” to reduce energy bills for their tenants in the short term and add value to their properties in the long term.
The government hopes its Green Deal will overcome the “spilt incentive” in the rented sector whereby previously it was the landlord who paid for the energy efficiency improvement but the tenant who benefitted from lower bills.
Under the Green Deal, landlords will be able to make energy efficiency improvements without having to pay for them upfront and although tenants will repay the cost of the measures through their energy bills, these bills will be lower.
“We’d urge both renters and landlords to think seriously about making some improvements to their properties,” said David Bird, customer operations director at E.ON.
“In some cases, renters can be eligible for free cavity wall and loft insulation, and costs for installation can often be much cheaper than you’d think, so always speak to your energy provider first to make sure you’re aware of all the offers available.”
Richard Lambert of the National Landlords Association (NLA), said: “It’s important that tenants and landlords both realise there are ways of improving the energy efficiency of properties. The NLA encourages landlords to take advantage of the government’s Green Deal, available later this year.”
Photo by ell brown