This report is an introduction to the issue of effective government policy with respect to energy efficient retrofit in the private rental sector, and to some of the evidence that relates to the topic. It is intended to be relevant to both the development of energy retrofit policy in the private rental sector in Scotland, and to anyone with a general interest in the topic.

It contains background information on the private rental sector and energy use in Scotland, and on the existing approach to government policy in this area, both in Scotland and across the UK. It follows this with a summary of some of the evidence on the issue from the academic and non-academic sources that were gathered for this scoping report.

Like the owner-occupier sector, policy interventions in the PRS are complicated by the level of actors that need to be addressed i.e. many thousands of individual landlords and tenants. Alongside this, the difficulty which is most commonly cited in the literature reviewed in this report is that of a split incentive between those who are most liable to pay the costs of energy retrofit – the property owners – and those who will most likely reap the benefits – the property occupants.