A new report released by Shelter Scotland suggests that the majority of the public sector supports stricter laws requiring private landlords to bring their properties up to a certain energy efficiency rating before they are allowed to be let.
The research was commissioned by WWF Scotland and looked at the views of private tenants on Scottish Government proposals to introduce minimum energy efficiency standards for the sector.
85% of adults asked said that they support the proposals, with 71% stating that they wished their home was more energy efficient.
Worryingly, 66% of private tenants in Scotland suggested that they wouldn’t know what to do if their landlord wouldn’t improve energy efficiency when asked.
The report has been released ahead of the Scottish Government’s consultation period on new regulations for the sector that culminate on the 30th June.
Should the proposals become law, the new regulations will require private landlords to raise the energy efficiency rating of their property to an EPC rating of E or above. This will rise to D or above by 2025.
Adam Lang, head of communications and policy at Shelter Scotland, observed: ‘Everyone in Scotland should be able to live in a warm, safe and secure home but we know that private tenants live in the most energy inefficient homes. This research shows that some private renters are getting a raw deal regarding energy efficiency with some startling stories of the lengths people are going to heat their homes. In one instance, a tenant was using a ‘tea-light’ heater to keep warm due to the high cost of heating his home.’
‘That 85% of people in Scotland would support laws requiring private landlords to increase the energy efficiency of their homes and 71% wish their home was more energy efficient are both compelling reasons for the Scottish Government to press ahead with these changes,’ he added.
Gina Hanrahan, acting head of policy at WWF Scotland, noted: ‘Improving the energy efficiency of Scotland’s homes is a win-win. It creates healthier places to live, tackles fuel poverty, creates jobs and fights climate change. It makes no sense that some private renters are currently forced to waste precious cash and carbon heating the air outside their cold and leaky homes.’
‘The findings of this report show there is no reason for the Scottish Government to delay introducing these important requirements which would improve conditions for future tenants and those renting today.’