< I live in halls

Private renting

Sustainable accommodation

Through the Homes Fit For Study campaign, students are taking personal action on the climate crisis within their accommodation. This is important because housing contributes over 15% of the UK's greenhouse gas emissions, and students are vulnerable to fuel poverty.

We share information to enable you to save energy at home while maintaining a good standard of wellbeing, as well as empowering you to become leaders among your peers. 

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Act

The housing sector has a responsibility to reduce carbon emissions, from building carbon neutral homes, to insulating existing ones andmore. As individuals, we can also change our behaviours and take actions, from volunteering and voting, to having climate conversations and reducing unnecessary energy use.  

We can all do something about the climate crisis, some can do a lot more than others but our choices and individual actions can collectively help to influence systems change. Within the home, you can take actions such as switching off lights and encouraging friends to change behaviours, as well as lobbying for improved facilities and completing sustainability audits to find areas for improvement.

💃 Sustainable Fashion Week

Take part in Sustainable Fashion Action Week!

‍We have two new competitions: can you match clothing symbol to their meanings? to be in with the chance of winning a £25 voucher!

Our second competition asks how much does the fashion industry contribute to global pollution? Take a guess, and you could win a £25 voucher!

Take our quiz - caring for your clothes! Test your knowledge & learn some money saving tips too.

You can also watch our webinar on Second Hand Fashion: Save the Planet + Your Money to find out more!

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Student reads book in their room

Lead

Volunteer and become a sustainability leader. 

Take climate action and volunteer with other students to increase positive environmental impacts in student homes. Volunteers receive detailed training around energy use in the home and conduct audits for students to share this knowledge and address common issues in student housing.

💡 Sustainability audit

Complete our mini-sustainability audit to see how your accommodation scores!

📣​ Volunteer with SOS-UK

We run programmes and campaigns about various sustainability challenges, and often have opportunities to get involved! Check out our action pages and sign up to our newsletter to be the first to hear about them.

Students hold pots and pans

Learn

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.

🏡 Masterclass on your rights as a tenant

Take a five minute masterclass to find out about your rights as a tenant in the private rented sector.

📧 Sign up to our newsletter

Stay updated with the latest information about energy saving, ways to win prizes and how to get more involved in the campaign.

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📺 Webinars

26th October, 12pm, Getting to grips with energy bills: This webinar covered the topic of energy bills, including how to choose an energy supplier and/or tariff to meet your needs, how energy bills are charged, and some top tips for reducing your energy bills.

22nd November, 12pm, Warmer homes and managing damp when renting privately: This webinar covered managing damp and mould in rented accommodation, and some top no- and low-cost tips for a warmer home when living in the private rented sector.

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8th December, 12pm, House hunting for a warm home: This webinar covered the topic of house hunting in the private rented sector as a student, particularly focusing on how to make sure your next house will be warm, in good condition and free of damp.

Watch our other recorded webinars, covering topics including moving into the private rented sector sustainably, the 2022 energy crisis, and careers in sustainability.

📒 Guides

We have put together a number of written guides to support students living in the privately rented sector:

🏘️ House hunting checklist

Check these details when looking at renting a new place

  • ‍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 online.‍
  • 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 online.‍
  • 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. Find out more.
  • ‍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.

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🤔 Learning Masterclasses

Find your residence

No matter where you live you can follow our advice for a more sustainable home. If you live in accommodation provided by one of the universities listed below, click on the logos to find out how your residence is doing and activities you can get involved in.