Tenant could have right to demand that landlords make energy efficiency improvements from 2015 onwards

Private landlords could be forced to increase the energy efficiency of their rental homes under the government’s Green Deal proposals, which will go before parliament next month.

Under the plans, property owners will be given funding to carry out environment-friendly retrofits on their properties and pay back the cost over a long period from the savings made on their energy bills.

To force private landlords to carry out the works, the government will introduce powers allowing a tenant to demand reasonable energy efficiency improvements from 2015 onwards. It will also allow local authorities to insist that landlords improve their worst-performing homes.

Chris Huhne, the energy and climate change secretary, said: “Privately rented homes have far too many leaky lofts and icy drafts. Over half a million have the lowest energy rating. The Green Deal will change this”.

The government expects the Green Deal to be available from autumn 2012. Ministers believe that 14 million homes as well as offices could be fitted with energy-saving measures by 2020 and that the sector could employ up to 250,000 workers.

The deal will include an independent energy survey of the property and advice on the best energy efficiency options, which will be installed by a range of accredited providers.