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Research find landlords are key market for eco installers under Green Deal

New research from the Energy Saving Trust has found that tenants in private rented housing want to go green – but are least likely to be benefiting from energy-efficient, money-saving upgrades.

The survey of more than 2,000 UK adults found of those living in privately rented housing:

  • 39 per cent were interested in an energy efficient boiler upgrade
  • 44 per cent were interested in double glazing
  • 45 per cent were interested in insulation

When it comes to insulation research shows that homes in private rented accommodation with cavity walls are least likely to have cavity wall insulation fitted (34 per cent) compared to homes owned outright or mortgaged (51 per cent).

The biggest opportunity for the private rented sector is solid wall insulation, with nearly half of homes being suitable for this measure, which is approved to receive funding under the ECO as part of the Green Deal.

Energy Saving Trust housing strategy manager David Weatherall said: “This is a win-win situation for both landlords and tenants. Landlords get home improvements without the upfront costs, and tenants have warmer homes to live in.

“The problem’s been that over half of private rented homes were built before 1944. They’re often cold, expensive to heat and most have traditional solid walls. In the past there have been few grants to improve insulation in these solid wall homes.

“But now, substantial financial support for solid wall insulation is available to all GB private landlords under the ECO grant scheme, which is linked to the Green Deal.

“ECO will provide some of the funding for solid wall insulation, while the rest will come from a Green Deal loan with the money being paid back through financial savings on energy bills.

“The massive savings from solid wall insulation – typically around £490 per year – should cover the Green Deal repayments.”

Energy Saving Trust’s UK databank of home-by-home information lets organisations and installers target the right homes with advice about the right energy saving improvements at the right time.

Following the launch of Green Deal and ECO, the Energy Saving Trust is urging tradespeople and builders undertaking refurbishment work in the private rented sector to encourage landlords to consider green upgrades and allow them to take advantage of the schemes.

All installers need to acquire Green Deal Installer certification to offer energy saving improvements through the Green Deal. Energy Saving Trust is the only consumer-facing organisation providing Green Deal Installer certification, making it a recognised brand for potential customers.

Private rented accommodation is traditionally seen as some of the country’s ‘energy leakiest’. Landlords have a responsibility to provide habitable conditions for tenants by making sure the home is adequately insulated, and by 2018 homes with the two lowest Energy Performance Certificate ratings will be unfit for rental under Department of Energy and Climate Change rules.

Green Deal enables private firms to offer consumers energy efficiency improvements to their homes, community spaces and businesses with no upfront payments.

Costs are recouped – as savings accrue – through a charge in instalments on their energy bills, with money passed on direct to Green Deal providers by energy companies.

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is the government’s new domestic energy efficiency programme, and is designed to supersede the CERT and CESPprogrammes. It will work in parallel with the government’s Green Deal from the end of January.

ECO will create a legal obligation on certain energy suppliers to improve the energy efficiency of domestic households, particularly those on low income and those requiring more expensive energy-saving upgrades.

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