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by administrator @, Wednesday, May 23, 2012, 09:32

Private tenants across England are more likely to incur higher energy bills than homeowners, RICS has revealed.

The report into how dwelling types and lifestyles can affect energy expenditure reveals that those renting in the private sector pay on average £31 more every year than homeowners and £90 more than tenants living in social housing.

Those who own their own property are more likely to effectively insulate and modernise heating facilities than private landlords, and consequentially see a direct impact on their energy use and spend. However, a lack of incentives for private landlords to insulate their rental properties and update heating equipment is thought to result in higher bills for their tenants.

Homes with an electric heater can pay between £196 to £898 more a year than households with gas central heating and is the single highest contributing factor to energy expenditure.

With the Green Deal coming in later this year and Government legislation planned, landlords will soon be obliged to ensure their properties are brought up to a minimum energy efficiency standard rating. However, RICS believes it is vital that tenants understand the procedures involved and the impact they will have on their energy bills.

Jeremy Blackburn, RICS Head of UK Policy, said: "Those renting privately should expect the same standards in insulation and heating as homeowners and those in social housing. More needs to be done to ensure private rental property is fit for purpose and energy efficient. It is important that the Green Deal effectively addresses this at a time when tenants across the country are struggling with high fuel bills and increasing rents.

"RICS welcomes the Green Deal as a new way of financing energy efficiency improvements but it is vital that tenants understand exactly what measures are being taken, why, and what the impact on any measures will have on their energy bills. A mandatory Home Condition Report before the installation of all Green Deal measures would be a low-cost way of providing the consumer with a clear understanding of this."

The report, The changing effects on domestic energy expenditure from housing characteristics and the recent rapid energy price movements, also reveals that on average, those living in the suburbs are also spending more on energy than their urban neighbours - albeit by £9.11 annually.

It also reveals how you pay your energy bills can impact how much you spend - with homes that use prepay meters spending £91 more than households who pay for their energy by direct debit, hitting those that are more susceptible to fuel poverty the hardest.


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