Private renters in York will pay £1.1 million more in energy bills this winter following Rishi Sunak’s scrapping of minimum energy efficiency standards for rental properties, new research shows.

York is among the 100 worst-hit areas of the country, according to analysis by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU).

It shows that of the 12,699 privately rented homes in the York Central constituency, 6,946 have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D or lower.  

Plans to ensure all new tenancies must meet EPC band C by 2025 were scrapped by Mr Sunak in September. 

The ECIU said this would force landlords to upgrade the energy efficiency of their properties and save their tenants hundreds of pounds in energy bills each year. 

Jess Ralston, an energy analyst at the ECIU, said: “Private renters include some of the most vulnerable people in society, such as those with a long-term illness or disability and low-income families. 

“There are no two ways about it, they will be made colder and poorer by scrapping these standards. 

“The Prime Minister has essentially picked the landlord over the renter with his U-turn on these standards, in a move that makes no sense to fuel poverty charities or to energy companies alike.   

“Insulating our leaky homes is one of the most sensible steps we can take, as it reduces bills and means we need to buy less expensive gas in from abroad.”

The analysis shows that in York Central, there are 18,173 households in fuel poverty and nearly 55 per cent of private rented homes have an EPC rating of D or below. 

It also shows that on average these renters will pay £180 more for their fuel bills this winter than if their properties reached EPC C standards. 

According to the ECIU, collectively private renters in York Central will have paid £28 million more in energy bills by 2050 than they would have if the government had stuck to their original target of upgrading homes to EPC C. 

The City of York Council’s executive member for housing, Cllr Michael Pavlovic, said: “Energy efficiency is hugely important to making homes more affordable to heat and more comfortable to live in.  

“At a time when energy costs have shot up, this is a double blow to York renters from Rishi Sunak’s Conservative government. 

York Press: Cllr Michael PavlovicCllr Michael Pavlovic

“As well as failing to build the homes the country needs, Conservatives are failing to ensure older homes are properly insulated and affordable to heat for the tenants that live in them”.

Cllr Jenny Kent, the co-executive member for environment, said: “Improved energy efficiency of homes is key to York’s ability to make progress towards its net zero target, and this decision by the Conservatives makes that all the more difficult.  

“In York, we see the effects of climate change with more extreme and unpredictable weather events, which will become more and more evident. 

York Press: Cllr Jenny KentCllr Jenny Kent

“Decisions like this are hugely disappointing and will set the country back years on the action it needs to take to deliver warmer, better-insulated homes for tenants”.     

A Department for Energy Security and Net Zero spokesperson said: “The government’s record on energy efficiency speaks for itself, with almost half of all homes in England now having an EPC rating of C or above, up from 14 per cent in 2010.

“Rather than forcing landlords to make expensive upgrades in two years’ time – putting the burden on property owners and people’s rent – we’re taking a pragmatic approach to energy efficiency that creates homes fit for the future.

“We have allocated over £12 billion for energy efficiency this Parliament and our Great British Insulation Scheme is estimated to support more than 300,000 families to improve their homes and save money on their bills.”