Nearly half (47%) of tenants involved in a recent survey said they are confused about energy efficiency changes they can make to their homes without breaching their tenancy agreements.
Smart Energy GB commissioned a poll of 2,000 private tenants, finding that some plan to keep their energy bills down this winter by having a morning shower in the gym (22%), charging their tech in the office (26%), and keeping warm in cafes (20%).
Concerns about rising energy bills mean that 26% think it will be more cost effective to buy a few hot drinks, rather than heating their home. 23% will take the opportunity to visit friends and family members, while their own heating stays off.
36% think this will help them manage their outgoings this winter, with 14% admitting they have no idea how much their next energy bill will be.
29% believe their current rental property is as energy efficient as it could be. One in five would like double glazed windows installed, while 28% want better external wall insulation. A quarter also think their property would benefit from an entirely new boiler being installed, and 29% want solar panels put in. 59% find it frustrating that most of the information available about making homes energy efficient seems to be geared towards homeowners.
Smart Energy GB has produced an energy efficiency guide for renters to help them identify areas where they can take action.
Victoria Bacon, Smart Energy GB, comments: “With energy bills increasing, many people are making plans to beat the rising cost of living. But for renters, not knowing what energy efficiency changes they’re allowed to make can be an extra worry.
“Our guide covers low or no cost changes, like getting a smart meter, that are simple to do and effective at helping to keep your bills down. If you pay for the gas or electricity in your rented property, you can choose to have a smart meter. We recommend you tell your landlord before you get one.”
Property expert Kate Faulkner comments: “Whether you’re looking to rent a new flat, or you want to make improvements in your existing home, there are several simple steps you can take to help keep your energy bills down this winter.
“Understand how much energy you are using at what times by asking your energy supplier to fit a smart meter. Once you have one, this will make it much easier to focus on what’s costing you the most.
“An easy way to cut your bills is to switch your bulbs to LEDs. If your property is difficult to keep warm, talk to your landlord about loft or cavity wall insulation and turn your thermostat down by 1 degree.
“Your smart meter’s portable in-home display shows how much energy you’re using in pounds and pence, in near-real time. Your meter reading will also be sent to your energy supplier automatically, which means one less thing on your to-do list.”