Are Energy Hikes Costing Our Mental Health?
At this time of year, twinkly Christmas lights and toasty radiators are key elements to cosy festive cheer.
However, research has revealed that nearly 60% of tenants are so concerned about their rising energy costs, they are worried about the impact on their mental health.
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The data, delivered by Smart Energy GB found that 57% of tenants are worrying about their energy costs, to the extent that it is impacting their mental health, with 62% worried about how they are going to pay the bills this winter.
Household bills are climbing across the nation, with 65% of renters believing that the rising fuel costs will mean they cannot meet the costs.
Although 60% of respondents stated that being in a rental property limited their ability to significantly manage their energy usage, many tenants are doing what they can to manage. Nearly 60% turn off lights (no Blackpool Illumination situations here!) and 56% ensure appliances are switched off when not in use.
More worryingly, 44% refuse to use their heating, even when it’s cold. This is potentially bad news for not only your tenant’s health as we move into the chilliest months of the year, but also the welfare of your property, with damp and mould spreading far easier in an unheated environment.
Should landlords help with energy bills?
Many tenants believe that landlords could be doing more, with 46% being clear when asked that their energy bills would be more manageable if their property was more energy efficient, and a whopping 85% stating that there were plenty of changes that could be made to their property to make it more green.
Better insulation was a key consideration for 73% of tenants, with 44% looking for double glazing and 45% hoping for a boiler upgrade. 67% felt a Smart Meter would benefit them, and help them get a handle on understanding and monitoring their energy usage, but some tenants are reluctant to do this, with 14% believing that it may even lead to them losing their deposits.
The cost of going green
None of these fixes (except Smart Meters) are cheap, and for landlords, it may feel that there has been no let-up in the quest towards energy efficiency. For many, it can seem a pricy project with little immediate gain (you can find out a little more on the ROI of green changes here).
However, anything that landlords can do to ease the financial burden on their tenants is a smart move at the moment. With tenants feeling the financial pinch (more on that here – Rental Debts Reach an All Time High) adding fuel to the fire seems a risky move.
Smart Meters are a simple, and cheap step though. With nearly 70% of tenants feeling that they may help them tackle the spiralling cost of energy, it seems like a sensible move for every landlord.