The UK Coalition Government’s Green Deal, aimed at making it affordable for homeowners to undertake energy efficiency improvements, will not help the most vulnerable, warns Friends of the Earth.
In a report out today in conjunction with WWF, Which Way Up, the green group calls for new legislation to ensure that the least energy efficient homes – particularly those that are privately rented – are better insulated and heated.
The Government’s own figures indicate that of the 3.1 million properties rented from landlords or letting agencies, 19% are the least energy efficient.
According to the report, tenants living in the country’s coldest and least insulated homes could save around £488 a year on fuel bills if properties were brought up to a basic standard.
Improving the 750,000 worst performing private rented properties in the UK could cost from as little as £900 for cheap measures such as loft and cavity wall insulation.
On average, £2535 would improve the worst performing home and only 5% would require over £7500 to bring up to standard.
The result could be a total annual saving of 1.87 Mt CO2 and £386 million on fuel bills. Significant savings might also be made on the £859 million that winter-related diseases cost the NHS.
“The coalition’s Green Deal to refurbish British homes will leave many out in the cold unless it is part of a comprehensive plan to insulate all our homes, including a minimum energy efficiency standard for rented homes ,” says Friends of the Earth’s campaigner Dave Timms.
The Coalition’s Energy Bill is currently being debated in the House of Lords, but a number of organisations and MPs are calling for measures to be added that set a legal minimum energy efficiency standards for private rented homes from 2016 onwards.
Landlords who re-let the worst performing properties would be committing an offense after this date.
For further information:
UK Government’s Green Deal risks failure without business support, says CBI (15-Feb)
UK Government unveils Green Deal legislation (9-Dec 2010)
UK Government to roll out Green Deal to businesses and landlords (3-Nov 2010)
UK households living in fuel poverty rise to 4.5 million (15-Oct 2010)
02 March 2011