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Demand for smart controls is heating up, but not among landlords

Landlords are being urged to make improvements to their rental properties by installing effective heating controls systems to offer tenants greater control of energy consumption and make their rental homes more desirable.

Recent research by the Energy Saving Trust found there was a high demand in the private rented sector for green measures upgrades, with tenants in private rented housing wanting to ‘go green’ .

Standard heating controls have been proven to save over 50% on heating bills, and the additional control that new smart thermostats provide mean there is the potential to save even more.


Mark Waddy, a director at MTW Research, said that a study last month by his organisation found unprecedented growth in the smart heating sector across a range of products this year, owed largely to the fact that more manufacturers are expanding their range and making the most of the smart heating market opportunities.

But while the study carried out by MTW Research revealed that sales of heating devices have increased sharply in recent years, led by smart heating controls, the signs are that the take up by owner-occupiers is far higher than buy-to-let landlords.

Recent research by the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) found the private rented sector has the highest proportion of least energy efficient homes - 5.8% of G rated properties - compared with 3.4% in owner-occupied homes. 

With the Energy Act (2011) providing that, from April 2018 at the latest, it will be unlawful to rent out residential or business premises which do not reach a minimum energy efficiency standard - the lowest acceptable energy rating is likely to be E – Drayton, one of the UKs leading heating control brands and part of Schneider, is urging more landlords to fit smart heating controls to the rental properties.

Simon May, Product Manager at Drayton, points out that landlords of F and G rated buildings will be unable to let them out after April 2018 unless they take active steps to improve the energy efficiency of those buildings.

“Internet connected controls – or smart thermostats as they’re known - allow tenants to manage the temperature of a property, using a mobile app, no matter where they are,” he said. 

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  • Paul Knox

    What a load of sales based crap.

    An EPC doesn't care whether the heating controls are internet enabled, all it asks is 'is there a room stat/TRV's/programmer. It doesn't even care if the controls work.

    Taking out a room stat, and replacing with an expensive internet enabled room stat will lead to more issues for the landlord to resolve. Does a landlord want to be concerned that the tenant has a new phone and can't find the relevant app at 3am on a Sunday morning?


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