PRIVATE renters in Blackburn with Darwen are paying significantly more for electricity and heating than those in social housing. Energy performance certificates provide information on the energy efficiency of a building, and are required when a property is built, sold or let.

Homes are rated from zero to 100, with a higher score reflecting more energy efficiency. The median score for privately rented flats with a rating in Blackburn with Darwen was 72 in 2018-19, compared to 74 for those rented by social landlords, Office for National Statistics data shows.

The estimated median energy cost – those for lighting, heating and hot water – for private renters was £563 a year, much more than the £435 for social rented flats.

Dan Wilson Craw, director of Generation Rent, said: “Private renters have had to put up with draughty homes for far too long, because there hasn’t been much of a carrot or a stick for landlords to insulate their properties.

“Even with recent Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards, landlords get an exemption if it would cost too much to make the necessary improvements.”

He said the recently announced Green Homes Grant, whereby homeowners – including landlords – can get financial help to make energy efficiency upgrades, was an opportunity to make thousands of rented homes more comfortable.