Date Published 24 May 2012

Private tenants across England are paying higher energy bills than home owners, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has said.

In a new report into how dwelling types and lifestyles can affect energy expenditure, the RICS says that private tenants pay £31 more a year than home owners, and £90 more than tenants living in social housing.

The RICS says that those who own their own property are more likely to effectively insulate and modernise heating facilities than private landlords, and says there is a lack of incentives for private landlords to make improvements.

Households with an electric heater can pay between £196 to £898 more a year than households with gas central heating, and is the single highest contributing factor to energy expenditure.

Jeremy Blackburn, RICS head of UK policy, said: `Those renting privately should expect the same standards in insulation and heating as home owners and those in social housing. More needs to be done to ensure private rental property is fit for purpose and energy efficient.

`It is important that the Green Deal effectively addresses this at a time when tenants across the country are struggling with high fuel bills and increasing rents.

`RICS welcomes the Green Deal as a new way of financing energy efficiency improvements, but it is vital that tenants understand exactly what measures are being taken, why, and what the impact on any measures will have on their energy bills.

`A mandatory Home Condition Report before the installation of all Green Deal measures would be a low-cost way of providing the consumer with a clear understanding of this.`?

The research was commissioned by the RICS and conducted by the School of Built Environment at Heriot-Watt University.