For 4 million people in the UK, paying for energy is a real struggle. Keeping warm is especially tough for private renters - 21% of them are in fuel poverty (that’s three times the rate for people who own their own homes). That means these people are spending a much higher than average proportion of their income on energy bills.
Zoom in to the poorest quality houses being rented privately, and an eye-watering 46% of tenants live in fuel poverty. The impacts of this make it a social crisis: poor physical and mental health, impacts on childhood development and premature winter deaths to name a few.
Tenants deserve to live in warm, affordable and safe homes. But last year the government released plans that would have left landlords free to do nothing to improve the energy efficiency of their worst properties if they faced any costs to do so - hitting the most vulnerable the hardest.
Pressure has been building to demand the government do the right thing. With your support, we’ve placed the issue in the media, passed a motion in the London Assembly and worked with other organisations to lobby politicians in Westminster.
Now the government has announced plans to force private landlords to cough up cash for improvements in the least energy efficient homes.
This is a big win. But their plan doesn’t go nearly far enough to protect that 46% living in fuel poverty in some of the UK’s coldest homes. The government’s current proposals means landlords will have to pay up to £2500 for energy efficiency improvements - but no more. That pretty much guarantees the worst properties will not be improved. The government even admits this in their documents assessing the impact of policy proposal. Put simply, they are putting landlords’ profits before tenants’ safety, comfort - and rights
Their plans are now open for comment. It’s an opportunity to tell the government that private landlords must be required to properly protect the tenants they profit from. A wide range of groups, from 10:10 to Citizens Advice to the parliamentary Committee on Fuel Poverty are demanding the cost cap be raised from £2,500 to £5,000. This would insulate over 100,000 additional homes.
We have just weeks to persuade them to change their plans, and you can help with just two minutes of your time.