New research for the UK Green Building Council and WWF has found that introducing minimum energy efficiency standards for privately rented properties will cost landlords less than £1,500 on average per home, and will save tenants over £400 a year on energy bills. This is far less than previous studies have shown.

Under the Energy Act 2011, landlords are obliged to upgrade the worst performing privately rented homes - those with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating in band 'F' or 'G' - to a minimum energy efficiency standard from April 2018. Regulations are expected to prohibit the letting of properties in EPC bands 'F' and 'G' which don’t undertake cost-effective energy efficiency improvements.

Paul King, chief executive of the UK Green Building Council, said: “This research shows just how easy and affordable it will be for landlords to comply with the minimum standards, with improvements that won’t need to go through the planning system which can be costly and time consuming.

“Minimum standards are a complete no-brainer - they require only the most basic and cost-effective improvements to a home but could save hundreds of pounds a year to the tenant. The Government must introduce the regulations without delay to give badly needed certainty to both landlords and tenants.”

The research, conducted by Parity Projects, examined 3,000 properties rated as EPC band 'F' or 'G' and modelled the improvements that would be needed to reach EPC band 'E'.

It found that:

All of the properties examined were also able to comply without resorting to measures which may require planning permission, such as external wall insulation or solar PV.

Zoe Leader, climate & energy specialist for WWF-UK, said: “Improving the energy efficiency of our homes is critical to achieving our carbon emission reduction targets and protecting some of the most vulnerable against the very worst impacts of climate change. What this research also demonstrates, is that implementing minimum energy efficiency standards is not only good for the environment but with average bill savings of £409 a year it is also good for our pockets.”