Energy efficiency in the UK private rented sector: government policy and landlords’ practices
Zareen Sethna, UCL Energy Institute
There is huge potential to improve the energy efficiency of the UK housing stock; the English Housing Survey shows that 73% of homes could benefit from improvements to the building envelope or heating system, with the private rented sector having the greatest potential for cost effective energy efficiency measures.
The private rented sector has grown in recent years, nearly doubling in size since the 1990s, and in 2013 overtook the social rented sector to become the second largest tenure after owner occupiers.
The sector has a large proportion of dwellings with poor energy performance ratings, with over a third in energy efficiency band E or below. Improving the energy efficiency of privately rented dwellings is key both to achieving climate change targets, and to addressing fuel poverty.
This sequential mixed methods study will analyse the impact of government policies on the uptake of energy efficiency measures in private rented dwellings in the UK in order to identify trends and barriers to uptake. The quantitative analysis will inform a second, qualitative research stage, in which private rental sector actors will be interviewed in order to gain a deeper understanding of the interactions between policy, actors’ practices and the uptake of energy efficiency measures. The findings will inform an analysis of current and forthcoming policy and make recommendations for future policy.
- What do trends in the rate of uptake of energy efficiency measures in the private rental sector tell us about barriers to uptake within the sector?
- What impact did government policy between 1998 and 2012 have on the uptake of energy efficiency measures in private rented dwellings in the UK?
- How do private sector practices influence the uptake of energy efficiency measures?
- How does government policy relate to actors’ practices?
- How does the interview data explain the impact of government policy as found in phase 1?