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Energy efficiency may be make or break for tenants, survey claims

A survey claims that 80 per cent of prospective tenants would consider energy efficiency as one of the critical items determining whether they would take up a property. 

Research by Direct Line business insurance shows that the environment is a top concern for renters with 75 per cent saying that a property’s energy efficiency rating is important to them. 

A quarter wouldn’t rent it in the first place or would leave because of poor environmental standards. This increases to 41 per cent among 25 to 34 year olds.


The insurance firm states that there are also negative perceptions of landlords’ attitudes towards making their properties greener. Six in 10 tenants believe landlords care little about improving their property’s energy efficiency rating.

However, when they were asked, landlords contradicted this. 

Some 83 per cent of buy to let investors have made changes to their properties to make them more energy efficient and 73 per cent say they understand how important this is becoming to tenants, and in many case they'’re often going above and beyond to improve their property. 



Over half ensured their property had a good energy efficiency rating despite this not being required by regulation, contradicting renters’ perceptions that they aren’t taking the issue seriously enough. And nearly four in 10 say they did so because they have genuine concerns about the environment.

Other reasons included making their property more attractive to prospective or existing tenants, meeting regulatory standards, awareness of other landlords making upgrades, and a belief their property will be cheaper to run with the improvements.

They’re also making a diverse range of changes to their properties to improve their energy efficiency. Almost half have made their appliances or light bulbs more sustainable, while more than four in 10 have added draught proofing.

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  • icon

    I was thinking this would be a piece about solar panels that are stated on all my epc’s to get them to a C rating. Who knew that a quick visit to B&q for some new Lightbulbs & a bit of draught proofing is all it takes?!

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    I don't know where they found these tenants but availability appears to be the only factor where I have properties.

    Given that many tenants never change their utility supplier and others fail to get to grips with their heating controls (especially storage heaters) I find it hard to believe they care at all about the EPC rating.

    In addition, as the EPC is such an artificial measure of anything it would be worrying if tenants were actually relying on it!


    I change my suppliers every year if I can't match the best deal from my present one...bar water which doesn't allow switching...yet.
    Same with banks. A yearly switch to get the best rates.

  • icon

    I’ve yet to meet a tenant in my 26 years letting who has asked about the energy efficiency rating. So suddenly 80 percent want to know. Finding that hard to believe.

  • George Dawes

    I got two c’s and a b

    Just change the lightbulbs , it’s crazy but true 😂

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    The main things tenants are interested in are location and how much the rent is. Living in a house that is close to work, family and chosen leisure activities will do far more for their carbon footprint than a few extra points on an EPC.
    Learning how to use their heating programmer and the importance of ventilation would save them a noticeable amount of money.

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    When the To Let sign goes up the attitude changes best manners come out and they will say anything to get the tenancy. If it’s a C, B or F they don’t ask or question. More likely to get asked where’s the nearest Dominos

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    • L C
    • 02 September 2021 16:40 PM

    Absolute nonsense survey. We run a busy office in East London and in the last 10 years must have had about three tenants even mention the energy rating or efficiency.

  • icon

    Another perspective.
    I own a large property, double glazed and meets, indeed exceeds, new EPC ratings. which I let to tenants (1 family) who've been there for 10 years and in process of buying it but that's by the bye.
    Meanwhile, I downsized into a large 1 bed flat built circa late 1800s with the original wood framed single glazed windows complete with monkey-tail latches, real, but unused, fireplace, deep skirtings and built in cupboards and shelving either side of the fireplace.
    I have a sitting room with small study off, completely separate kitchen with small utility room off, bathroom with bath and shower and a large 2nd floor bedroom with louvre doors to triple width wardrobe built flat into the wall. Combi boiler with rads in all rooms and large casement windows in bedroom sitting room and kitchen. Central light fittings plus lots of table lamps. Gas hob, electric fan oven, washing machine. I use broadband every day 75% of the time.
    My bills as of 2nd Sept were: electricity £13.47, gas 9.82.
    There is no cavity wall insulation and no draught-proofing. I haven't had CH on since end Feb.
    I live above a shop which has separate entrance on another road and I have own front door with stairs leading up to rooms on 1st and 2nd floors as described.
    When the recent elec 5 yearly check was done, he remarked 'Whew! it's warm up here' which indeed it is. Even in winter months my gas and electricity bills are lower than the lowest on the scale for 1 bed flats, averaging 14.50 and 12.80 for elec and gas.
    I don't want to feel stifled in overheated rooms with no airflow. It's not healthy and no, I don't wear jumpers or extra clothing at home in colder weather.
    We need reasonable insulation but there is none here, yet I'm perfectly warm and thriving in a comfortable environment with no damp issues and decent airflow to keep things fresh.


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