Housing has a key role to play in our low carbon future, with UK and devolved government’s keen to improve the energy efficiency of our homes in order to meet global targets around climate change and sustainability.
Whilst there has been much emphasis on technological and design solutions, there has been less attention towards how consumers are adapting to these changes and using energy in the homes (Gram-Hanssen 2013). This is particularly true within the private rented sector, which tends to have less energy efficiency stock than elsewhere in the housing system. Indeed, qualitative research with private tenants highlights problems with cold, damp properties that have been poorly maintained and which landlords are not always willing to invest in or repair (McKee at al., 2021; Harris and McKee, 2021; Brown et al., 2021). This can in turn exacerbate issues of fuel poverty for tenants and undermine their ability to create a ‘home’.
This mixed methods study will address these evidence gaps through new policy and practice relevant research. Its overall aim is to better understand the challenges facing both landlords and tenants in enhancing the energy efficiency of their housing, and adopting more sustainable practices. These aims will be addressed through qualitative interviews with private renters and key stakeholders, supplemented by online surveys with private landlords.