What the Green Deal means for private landlords

Category: Energy Efficiency

Following the launch of the Green Deal on Monday, a recent study has revealed that private tenants are the least likely to benefit from the legislation.

The research from the Energy Saving Trust found that just 34% of homes with cavity walls in the private rented sector are likely to be fitted with cavity wall insulation. This is considerably less than homes that are both mortgaged and owned outright.

However, more positively, nearly half of privately rented homes were suitable for solid wall insulation, a measure that is eligible to receive funding under ECO as part of the Green Deal.

In light of the rising fuel prices, this could be worth almost £500 in yearly savings to tenants.

Given the survey also highlighted the increasing importance of energy efficiency to modern private renters, this is unquestionably an area landlords should be placing an emphasis on in order to increase the likelihood of tenant retention.

Of the 2,000+ tenants who were surveyed, 39 per cent showed an interest in an energy efficient boiler upgrade, 44 per cent were interested in double glazing, while 45 per cent would be interested in further insulation.

The private rented sector is seen as one of the biggest offenders in terms of energy efficiency and now more than ever the onus is on landlords to familiarise themselves with the latest legislation and measures available.

It’s a confusing, transitional time for property owners, which is why we firmly believe an infrared thermographic survey is key to helping overwhelmed landlords establish their starting point, most suitable journey and eventual destination.

It takes just three seconds to capture a thermal image capable of revealing precisely where heat is escaping your property, while our patented Envision software can quantify this in monetary terms.

These images can then be added to our carbon diet plan, allowing you to experiment in real time with the building fabric, providing a concrete ROI on any future refurbishments. For instance, you could specify your desired EPC rating and our diet plan will provide you with a breakdown of the measures needed to achieve this.

This allows landlords to plan ahead with unprecedented confidence and ensure they are making the most of both the ECO and Green Deal should these be schemes they wish to utilise.

Whatever your views on these, there’s little doubt that energy efficiency is becoming a bigger priority for everyone.

The recent UK Energy Act 2011 specifies that any property, both commercial and domestic, which fails to achieve an EPC rating of E by April 2018 will face sustainable obsolescence – unable to be rented.

While this may seem like a significant period of time, it will be those who take early action who can approach the forthcoming years with confidence. The cost effectiveness of thermal imaging also allows landlords to regularly assess their property and ensure it’s continuing compliance in light of developing processes and legislation.

Waiting until the last moment is not only risky in terms of the strain on the resources that a late rush will cause, but also in terms of the availability of funding.

David Weatherall, housing strategy manager at the Energy Saving Trust, said: “Landlords should act now to make improvements while offers like ECO exist, which offer additional funding to improve the energy efficiency of leaky homes, rather than waiting until 2017 when the same funding might not be in place.”

If you are interested in finding out more about Envision or Carbon Diet Plans then do not hesitate to contact us.