The results from a poll of 251 social renters from over 100 English housing associations have been compiled in a survey conducted by a group including Procurement for Housing and the University of Salford.

The survey found that 38% of residents are given no choice about energy efficiency improvements made to their homes, over 14%are worried they won’t know how to use energy-saving equipment and 17%are concerned retrofit technology won’t actually work.

While social landlords have made some progress, 94% of respondents had seen some energy efficiency upgrades to their homes, the survey concluded landlords need to do more to engage and consult their tenants.

Tenants felt they needed more support after retrofit upgrades were installed, with nearly 25% receiving no support from their landlord post-installation.

Steve Malone, MD of Procurement for Housing said: “Tenants play a vital role in ensuring energy efficiency upgrades actually work.

“Retrofit improvements won’t make the government’s carbon reduction targets on their own and this research shows that the social landlords must work harder to link behaviour change and fuel bill savings.”

Residents were less concerned with climate change than with bills, with 23% of tenants citing cheaper fuel bills as the driver for their uptake of retrofit installations.

Perhaps the tenants who announced the survey results will learn more about the environmental advantages of energy efficiency. They did so in the setting of Salford’s Energy House, the replica terrace home, built inside a sealed chamber to demonstrate retrofit installations.

Read more about the Energy House here.

Alison Brown

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