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Utilita Homes boss says landlords need more help to retrofit properties

In a bold appeal to the country’s incoming policymakers, George Walters, Chief Home Services Officer at Utilita Energy, is urging political parties to prioritise helping landlords to retrofit their properties in a bid to make millions of tenants more comfortable, while future-proofing properties from damage caused by tenants’ unavoidable inability to afford heat. He believes that such measures are essential to meet the UK's ambitious climate targets and to reduce energy bills for millions of tenants across the country, especially those in energy debt. 

The Need for Retrofitting

Utilita’s George Walters, a long-time advocate for energy efficiency and affordability, emphasises the critical role that retrofitting plays in achieving the UK’s environmental and economic goals: 

“Landlords have been faced with a range of challenges in recent years, and many have exited the market. Those who remain need government support in updating UK homes - the oldest of Europe’s housing stock - to help tenants afford to heat their homes.  

"The transition to a greener future requires significant investment in our housing stock. By supporting landlords with economic incentives, the government can accelerate this transition, creating a win-win scenario for the environment, tenants experiencing fuel poverty, and the broader economy.

“I am keen to see an election manifesto that outlines the party’s plans to offer a comprehensive package of grants, tax incentives, and low-interest loans designed to make retrofitting more financially feasible for landlords. If this can be accelerated for landlords in low income areas, even better.”

“Another way the government could accelerate the decarbonisation of homes is to revise the poorly designed eligibility criteria on thecurrent schemes - such as ECO4. This would free up funds to spend onretrofitting homes, rather than wasting it on trying to find homes that qualify. The fact that providers are unable to meet targets confirms thecriteria is flawed. 

“As a specialist Smart PAYG energy supplier, over 70% of our customers rent, and, after overlaying our customer database with each property’s energy performance rating, we can see where retrofit measures would result in much lower energy costs - for some, this would pull them right out of fuel poverty - sadly, only one in 100 of these inefficient properties currently meet the eligibility requirements for free retrofit measures.”

A Call to Action

With polling stations ready to open their doors on 4th July, Utilita’s George Walters’ call to action is timely. He is urging political parties to prioritise energy efficiency in their manifestos and to commit to supporting landlords - and owner occupiers - through economic incentives.

"The next Government has a unique opportunity to drive forward a green revolution in our housing sector, and in doing so we will see a positive impact on energy debt, a reduction in fuel poverty and better maintained properties that are less susceptible to mould and damp." Walters concluded.

Utilita Energy - LandlordZONE’s official energy partner is the UK’s leading specialist smart PAYG energy supplier to 800,000households, of which 70% are owned by landlords. Utilita has partnered withLandlordZONE to assist landlords in understanding how to begin their retrofitting journey.


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