March 21, 2016
  • Major new study involving landlords managing 500,000 homes underway, examines link between energy efficiency and indirect cost savings  
  • British Gas, ROCKWOOL, National Energy Action support research

Sustainable Homes, the sustainability consultancy that works with affordable housing providers and government to reduce fuel poverty, today announced a major new study involving social landlords managing half a million homes. The research will investigate the potential cost savings that energy efficiency measures can deliver.

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MONEY SAVING EXPERT: Housing associations are looking to use ‘hidden’ savings to make a positive case for investing in energy efficiency in leaner times

Housing associations have anecdotally reported a range of indirect savings linked to energy efficiency improvements being made to their housing stock. These include reduced rental arrears, increased occupancy and lower levels of anti-social behaviour. It comes at a time of real pressure on the sector with reduced funding for energy efficiency as the Government reviews its policies, combined with a reduction in social rents announced last year.

Whilst many housing associations have made great strides in improving energy efficiency, regulatory constraints mean they are unable to recoup their investment through, for example, higher rents to reflect some of the significant energy bill savings enjoyed by residents. The research will take account of how Government policies such as the 1% rent decrease and “pay to stay” could be examined to link rent reductions and increases to the energy efficiency of homes.

Steve Gapik of British Gas, which is supporting the study, said:

“British Gas is committed to helping both landlords and residents enjoy savings from energy efficiency improvements. This is demonstrated by the numerous multi-million pound investments we have made working in partnership with social housing organisations and local authorities on efficiency schemes from Plymouth to Glasgow.”

Darren Snaith, Director of Refurbishment and Regeneration at insulation manufacturer ROCKWOOL UK, which is also backing the research, said:

“ROCKWOOL works closely with social housing providers around the UK to upgrade the thermal and acoustic performance of their building stock. Research already shows that people are happier and healthier in warmer homes, but there are significant benefits for landlords too – that’s why we are supporting this important research. More than ever, it’s vital to build the business case for renovation works and this research will help quantify the potential savings that landlords can make to their running costs.”