Podcast: Energy Efficiency
In this episode of the podcast Sophie is joined by Zoe Avison from the Green Alliance to discuss how best to keep your home warm this winter and why insulation and greener, cheaper forms of energy are so important for renters. To find out more about the Green Alliance, visit their website here
Illegal rentals costing tenants £321m extra in energy bills
A quarter of a million landlords are letting families live in homes that are so expensive to heat they are illegal to let out. We estimate tenants in properties across England to be spending £321 million more this year on energy bills than they would if their homes met basic standards.Read more
Heat our homes, not the planet!
Two thirds of private renters need much stronger energy efficiency standards if they are to enjoy warmer homes that are affordable to heat and free of damp and mould. That's what our latest research with the Generation Rent Renters' Panel finds.
Installing insulation and other improvements improves a property's value but landlords are leaving their tenants to put up with cold and draughty homes. Even the £5000 Green Homes Grant the government introduced in September has not nudged landlords into action.
As well as higher legal standards, tenants need incentives to demand improvements. Right now many don’t know if they will stay long enough to benefit from improvements and worry that their landlord would raise the rent if they made improvements. Tenancy reform is needed to give renters confidence to ask for improvements, and the ability to claim back rent if their landlord leaves them with an inefficient home.Read more
Will the Green Homes Grant leave renters out in the cold?
Earlier this month, the Chancellor announced £2bn of funding through a Green Homes Grant to insulate homes. Poor insulation is a huge issue for private renters: one in 10 of us live in a home that is unacceptably cold - that's twice the rate among home owners and social tenants.
But it's not easy to get landlords to make these improvements - landlords have no incentive to reduce energy bills that someone else pays, and tenants have no idea how long they'll live somewhere to benefit from better insulation.Read more
Fuel poverty update: we can’t have any more delays in supporting renters in the coldest homes
Just before Christmas, as the weather got colder and government released its latest update on the fuel poverty statistics, there was still no news for private renters who need clarity about the detail of minimum energy efficiency standards in the PRS.
The statistics showed that one in five private rented households are officially fuel poor, and that the average ‘fuel poverty gap’ – the amount of money needed for a household to escape fuel poverty – is highest for private renters.
Despite these worrying trends, there is, in theory at least, some light at the end of the tunnel – but delays in implementing the policy need to be quickly remedied for that to be realised.Read more
Ending Fuel Poverty: if not now, when?
Today sees the first major public lobby of the new parliament, with up to 8000 people descending on the House of Commons from across the country to speak to their MPs about climate change.
Renters should be interested in this because the number one domestic policy demand will be ‘Warm homes for all’ – and this means making energy efficiency an infrastructure spending priority, as our friends the Energy Bill Revolution have called for in the run-up to the General Election.Read more
Ending fuel poverty for private renters – where we are and where we need to go
Yesterday the Department for Energy and Climate Change finally laid down regulations arising from the 2013 Energy Act which seek to drive up energy efficiency in the private rented sector and bring down fuel poverty as a result.Read more