ACE has been working closely with Friends of the Earth on a campaign to tackle energy efficiency in the private rented sector. We have been at the forefront of this fantastic campaign which is rapidly gaining pace. Today our partners at FoE released the following statement.
If you would like to help this campaign then please write to your MP and ask them to sign EDM 653 calling for minimum energy efficiency standards in the private rented sector. You can find out who your MP is here, and you can see the campaign statement here.
‘PROTECT TENANTS IN COLD HOMES’ DEMAND CHARITIES
Charities and consumer groups concerned about the number of cold, health-hazard rented homes are demanding a new law to protect tenants in a statement to Energy Secretary Chris Huhne today.
The coalition of 15 organisations, including children’s, housing, disability and environmental charities, is calling for urgent Government action to make it illegal to rent out the least insulated properties until they are brought up to a higher standard of energy efficiency.
Their joint statement says properties rented through private landlords are the most poorly maintained homes and contain large numbers of vulnerable people and those living in fuel poverty.
Almost a fifth of private tenants live in fuel poverty and can’t afford to heat their homes to a reasonable standard. According to the Government’s Fuel Poverty Advisory Group, the past six years have been devastating for the fuel poor as gas and electricity bills have shot up by 125 per cent.
Friends of the Earth’s climate campaigner Dave Timms said: “It’s a disgrace that millions of vulnerable people in Britain live in poorly insulated and dangerously cold homes that make them ill, while paying far more than they can afford trying to stay warm.
“The Government should introduce a minimum energy efficiency standard for private rented homes so they are better insulated and cheaper to heat – this would protect tenants from high fuel bills and ill health, while creating jobs, saving the NHS money and cutting carbon emissions.”
The group is also calling for landlords to get better information, clear advice and greater financial help to bring their properties up to scratch – and for tenants to get accurate, reliable information about the energy efficiency when choosing a home.
On the eve of the Liberal Democrat party conference, a Parliamentary motion for minimum energy efficiency standards private rented homes has been signed by MPs from across the political spectrum, including senior Liberal Democrat backbenchers Charles Kennedy, Alan Beith, Malcolm Bruce and Andrew George.
Labour leadership contender Ed Miliband has also backed regulation to ensure private rented homes are properly insulated.