A survey conducted by financial institutions has found the first suggestion that rental properties are slowly becoming more energy efficient.
A study by the NatWest and the ratings agency S&P Global has found a growing number of renters who said that their household or landlord had made improvements to the environmental sustainability of the property since they had been living there.
The figure said this was 33 per cent - previously only 29 per cent of tenants reported the same.
However, the NatWest and S&P Global say that figures show a continuing ‘Green Gap’ between rented and owned accommodation, with homeowners still more likely to have energy efficiency measures such as double-glazed windows (82 per cent vs 74 per cent of renters) or energy-efficient lighting (69 per cent vs 52 per cent of renters).
The institutions say this gap leaves renters potentially more exposed to higher outlays on heating their homes.
In the recent Spring Statement, the government reduced tax on items such as solar panels, insulation and heat pumps from five per cent to zero.
With energy prices expected to stay high for the foreseeable future, tax cuts in this area had popular support as a form of government policy intervention, with almost half (49 per cent) of homeowners saying they would like the government to introduce a temporary cut on VAT for gas and electricity.
Accelerating investment in renewable energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels (cited by 39 per cent) was another popular policy.
NatWest says it wants accelerated energy efficiency action this decade as the most effective means to address all aspects of what it calls “the UK’s energy trilemma” – affordability, energy security and decarbonisation.
The quarterly index is based on responses from 4,500 people across the UK in the first quarter of 2022, and the data was collected in the context of escalating cost-of-living pressures facing UK homeowners, particularly regarding energy costs.