Social landlords express concerns about the energy efficiency of housing stock

Npower, social housing

A high proportion of social landlords, 84%, are concerned about the energy efficiency of their housing stock, with 69% of them indicating that lack of funding is the key barrier to making improvements — according to research from Npower. Many landlords appear reticent to take advantage of the potential funding options available, with 31% stating that they do not intending to make use of the Green Deal.

The ‘Npower housing energy index’ reflects the views of 100 senior decision makers representing a range of social landlords and 300 tenants and reveals the scale of those holding back on investments. 52% are not considering investing in renewable heating systems by 2020, with 25% citing a lack of finance.

The research also showed a disconnect between landlord and tenant. Nearly 82% of landlords believe energy efficiency is the joint responsibility of landlord and tenant, while only 43% of tenants believe it is.

57% of tenants think landlords should pay for improvements to help reduce energy consumption and, therefore, cost. While tenants are looking to landlords to fund improvements, landlords believe it should be Government providing the funding, with 60% calling for financing for such technologies.

Richard Jemmett, head of social-housing energy services at Npower, comments, ‘We conducted this research to better understand the energy-related challenges currently facing the social-housing sector. Our research shows there is a clear need to improve energy efficiency across the housing stock, and it is crucial that education of tenants to encourage energy-saving behaviour changes should be at the heart of landlords’ plans.

‘It is clear that no matter what investment landlords make in energy-efficiency measures or renewable technologies, tenants need to save energy through implementing the small changes in behaviour such as ensuring lights and equipment are switched off, which can make a big difference. This will help ensure investment landlords do make provides strong payback.

‘Looking ahead, it is essential to overcome the barrier of lack of finance or access to funding if we are to improve our housing stock. By investigating the detail of funding options available, such as the Green Deal, landlords may find implementing energy-efficiency measured and renewable heating systems is more feasible than first thought.’

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