Are private landlords the new voice in energy efficiency?

According to an article posted on the Residential Landlords Association online RLA news service on 13th May 2009, “landlord and tenant interest in energy conservation running at an all-time high.”

Many landlords “were disappointed with the Chancellor’s budget — which seemed to make money available to everyone except private sector landlords despite their growing commitment to energy conservation,” says Dave Princep of the RLA Local Government Liaison Group

This interesting RLA news service article goes on to point out that “at a time when 19 per cent of the UK population lives in privately rented homes, heating costs and insulation have become deciding factors when choosing a property.”

The Harris poll reveals that location is still a tenant’s No.1 priority when deciding on which property to rent, but surprisingly enough five out of the remaining eight top reasons for choosing a property are all energy-related. The Harris poll showed that a total 98.5 per cent look for central heating, whilst 83.5 per cent for double glazing, 72.5 per cent for gas, electricity or oil economy, 68.6 per cent for insulation and 68.3 per cent for general warmth.

The RLA article states that “An overall 58 per cent of landlords, too, are concerned about energy efficiency in their rental properties and a rising number — 44 per cent – say they now ‘always’ consider energy efficiency before investing in new ones.”

The Residential Landlords Association reckons that Landlords believe that energy conservation reduces maintenance costs as well as the length of time that properties stay unoccupied. And keeping tenants warm and comfortable increases a property’s rental value, achieves higher resale value and reduces harm to the environment.

Ninety-two per cent of landlords have already installed some energy efficiency measures. The main ones are double glazing (80 per cent), programmable heating controls (75 per cent) and loft insulation (73 per cent) followed by low energy lighting, draught-proofed windows and doors, tank jackets, high energy efficiency boilers, energy efficient appliances, cavity wall, solid wall and floor insulation.”

So, based on the above Residential Landlords Association article, the residential landlords Harris poll about installing energy efficient measures, it is clear that Landlords seem to invest the most in replacement double glazing, energy efficient heating and insulation, clearly mindful of the fact that their prospective tenants look for efficient central heating and energy efficient double glazed windows and doors. It does seem on the above evidence that private landlords are a new voice in energy efficiency.


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