East Lancashire's private tenants 'being left out in the cold'

A GOVERNMENT minister is to visit East Lancashire over fears private tenants are missing out on energy saving schemes.

The move comes after Hyndburn MP Graham Jones wrote to energy minister Gregory Barker with concerns that tenants were doomed to years of poorly insulated homes.

Mr Barker has agreed to visit Accrington in the New Year after Mr Jones said he felt tenants were being left out of new energy efficiency measures, including the Green Deal, being introduced by the government.

Mr Jones said he was concerned tenants in privately rented properties were excluded from applying for grants to insulate their homes until 2018 unless their landlord gives them express permission.

Speaking in the House of Commons, he said: “I am thinking of people who could have PVC doors and windows and require insulation in terraced houses. Is it right that they must wait to have their homes insulated in rented private property for four winters?”

However Mr Barker responded that their aim was to ensure landlords would not be able to do this in the future.

He said: “We took powers under the Energy Act to ensure that, by 2016, no Green Deal could be refused by any landlord at the reasonable request of a tenant. By 2018, the deal will be mandatory as part of a minimum energy efficiency requirement.”

In a letter to the Hyndburn MP, Mr Barker thanked him for raising the issue with him and promised to visit the area.

He said: “Our aim is to encourage private rented sector landlords to use the Green Deal to improve their properties well in advance of any regulatory approach.

“From January 2013, a cashback incentive will be made available over a limited period of time to landlords who make energy efficient installations.”

He added: “Thank you for your invitation to visit your constituency to meet some landlords.

“I would be happy to visit in the new year and will ask my officials to set this up.”

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