As the UK deals with the coldest week of 2022, new research published by The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) reveals that the majority of those living in rented accommodation are reluctant to reach out to their landlords for help in saving energy.
Just 22% of tenants have asked their landlords for help in making their accommodation more energy efficient, instead turning to internet searches (44%) or friends and family (39%) for energy saving. As a result, nearly a quarter of tenants are unsure how to take basic measures to save energy in their homes by adjusting their radiators, while a shocking one in six (14%) do not know where their thermostat is.
To overcome the taboo of talking to your landlord, the NRLA has launched a new initiative, called “Home Bank,” to help landlords and tenants save energy together. Backed by Sonnaz Nooranvary, TV presenter and upholstery expert, the NRLA Home Bank campaign encourages tenants and landlords to discuss low cost ways to save energy and stay warm.
Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the NRLA said, “Both landlords and tenants are struggling with the cost of living crisis, so by communicating and working together in practical ways, they can share some benefits from improving energy efficiency and making rental accommodation more comfortable in these coldest months.
One of the simplest ways tenants can save energy is to fit correctly adjusted thermal curtains which can cut heat loss by up to 10%. Other simple and effective ways to save energy are draught-proofing around windows and doors which could save around £60 a year on energy bills and draught-proofing open chimneys when not in use which could save around £90 a year.
The first Home Bank event was held in Birmingham, the city with the second highest proportion of families in rental accommodation outside of London. Sonnaz and local volunteers manned a stall at the famous Rag Market, handing tips and free home energy saving furnishings.
Councillor Thompson, Cabinet Member for Housing and Homelessness, Birmingham City Council said, “As a council we are pleased to support the launch of the NRLA’s Home Bank. I hope this stall will act as a real one-stop shop for tenants and landlords to find out about what is available.”
There are an estimated 1.656 million lower income households living in private rented accommodation across the UK. In time, the NRLA hopes that the Home Bank will act as a model that can be adopted in some of the other major cities across England and Wales.