10:49 AM, 4th April 2023, About 11 months ago 5
An organisation has warned that delays to boosting energy efficiency standards could cost private renters £1 billion in energy bills.
The Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit has reported that because of poorer energy efficiency in the PRS, homes are likely to use more energy and cost more than similar homes in other sectors.
The organisation revealed one in four households (23%) in the PRS are classed as ‘non-decent’ which is double that of the owner occupier and socially rented sectors.
Though the plans have not been made into law, the government has previously proposed that by April 2025, newly rented properties in England and Wales will need to meet a minimum EPC standard of C – tougher than the current E standard.
The regulation is also slated to apply to existing tenancies from 2028.
An analysis from the Department of Health revealed that while excess cold in privately rented homes costs the NHS £1.2bn a year, the NHS saves 42p for every £1 spent on ‘keeping homes warm’.
Jess Ralston, an energy analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, said: “Encouraging private landlords to invest in their properties will lift local economies while saving the NHS millions.
“Privately rented homes are often cold, unhealthy and are likely to cost the billpayer and taxpayer billions because of their poor insulation.”
Research from Cambridge Econometrics revealed that for every £1 invested in energy efficiency by Government, £3.20 is returned in GDP.
Ms Ralston added: “Questions are being asked about why something as simple as confirming a new standard is taking this long, when it could save households cash and generate growth at a time when UK growth is at best sluggish.
“The Government will certainly be under pressure from landlords and tenants alike as they seek clarity.”
A recent Citizen’s Advice report found that 1.6 million children are living in privately rented homes that are cold, damp or have significant mould.
According to the survey, more than half (58%) of private renters in England are struggling with either damp, mould or excessive cold or a combination of these issues.
The survey also found that 30% of renters can’t afford to heat their home to a comfortable temperature – increasing to 45% of disabled tenants.
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