The average student spends over £500 a year on energy in the private-rented sector. Check out our energy advice to make sure you’re not paying too much for your energy and have a warm and efficient home
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) All rented accommodation will have an Energy Performance Certificate which the landlord is legally obliged to let you see. The EPC has an A to G rating system, where G is the poorest level of energy efficiency and A is the best.
You can search for your homes EPC here
Signs of Damp. When looking around a property, it’s important to look out for the tell-tale signs of a damp – smell, mould and condensation. A damp property is hard to heat and can have a significant impact on your wellbeing. Try and avoid damp properties or ask the landlord to take action.
You can find more information on damp here
Energy-rating of appliances. Appliances have a rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient). The more efficient the product, the less it will cost to run.
Heating. Heating is important to avoid problems of damp and to live comfortably. Check if the house is heated with gas or electricity, and ask the current tenants (if possible) how they find the heating.
Insulation. Insulation, including double glazing makes a home more energy-efficient, and therefore easier and cheaper to heat. Ask the landlord what insulation there is for the windows, walls and roof.
Gas safety certificate. If your property uses gas, your landlord must provide you with a copy of the Gas Safety Record. They must provide a copy to each tenant within 28 days of each check.
Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Landlords are required to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their property. The landlord must make sure the alarms work at the start of each new tenancy, and tenants are responsible for checking them and requesting new batteries or a replacement alarm.
Speak to current tenants. The best way to find out what a property is like, and how much it costs to run, is to speak to the current tenants. If you can, ask them what their experience has been.
Close curtains and windows to keep the heat in.
Open your windows for a short time after showering or cooking to get rid of steam and moisture, even when it’s cold. It requires more energy to heat moist air than dry air!
Fit simple low cost measures like “radiator panels” and “secondary glazing film”
Put on layers to keep warm.
Understand your boiler settings and controls so you’re not heating an empty house.