Private landlords might win over many tenants if they can promise a solution that could reduce their energy bills in the current climate.

The Energy Saving Trust says installing smart meters could be a way for property owners to better control the amount of gas and electricity they use.

Eight out of ten UK households are unaware of what they could be paying for their fuel bills, according to recent research by the Trust.

Philip Sellwood, chief executive of the energy advice body, said: "Smart meters offer a solution to this problem helping consumers keep an eye on where they are using energy around their home."

If the government agrees to roll out such devices, it could prove a good way for private landlords to attract tenants who are wary about their outgoings in the current economic climate.

Since the introduction of energy performance certificates last October, prospective tenants are given an indication of a home's likely fuel bills in the form of an energy performance rating.

But landlords can access tax-saving grants to carry out energy improvements in their properties - such as loft insulation - through the government's Landlord Energy Saving Allowance scheme.ADNFCR-2002-ID-19026130-ADNFCR

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