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Are you smart about energy and meters?

by ARPM

Energy efficiency in the private rental sector continues to be of interest to tenants and with changes proposed regarding Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards, it should be moving up the agenda of letting agents and landlords too.

A new survey by Smart Energy GB questioned renters on the matter of home improvements and energy saving in tenanted properties, with 36% saying that they were not sure what their rights were. The results also revealed 41% of renters have seen energy bills increase during lockdown, while 31% became more aware of their energy use.

One grey area that was uncovered concerned energy meters, with 44% of tenants mistaken in believing it was the responsibility of their landlord to book a meter installation. A further 44% didn’t realise that they were entitled to request a meter from their energy supplier if they were the billpayer.

The confusion seems to be compounded by letting agents. While 72% of landlords surveyed said they would agree to a smart meter being installed, Smart Energy GB discovered that 49% of letting agents had added a change of meter clause to their tenancy agreement, despite installation being the billpayer’s right.

Letting agents and landlords are reminded that the Government has proposals in place to raise Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards in buy-to-let properties. Legal EPC limits will progressively rise from E through to B between March 2023 and April 2030, so smart meters and eco improvements will increasingly be necessary to achieve a compliant let.

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