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Airbnb has launched its Sustainable Hosting Plan, including a GBP1 million fund to support Hosts with energy efficiency improvements, cutting carbon emissions and making long-term savings on their bills to help with the rising cost of living.
Home energy efficiency improvements and renovations – from fitting insulation to replacing an old boiler – can help save on bills and reduce carbon emissions but often come with daunting upfront costs.
Airbnb will work with Energy Saving Trust to provide a personalised home energy efficiency check and action plan for all Hosts including information about potential steps they can take to improve the efficiency of their home. Hosts interested in making improvements will be connected to local installers and receive a grant of £1,000, or £3,000 if they are a Superhost and apply before the 31st of January, towards their renovation bill.
The grants can be used on projects big and small. According to Energy Saving Trust, a £1,000 grant could cover around a quarter of the cost of a typical boiler replacement and a sixth of the cost of installing solar panels.
Amanda Cupples, General Manager for Northern Europe at Airbnb, said, “More than a third of Hosts across the UK say they host to afford the rising cost of living. In the face of rising energy bills, we want to support Hosts further by helping them with energy efficiency improvements and bringing their bills down in the long-term. Getting started with energy efficiency improvements can seem a challenge so our Sustainable Hosting Plan will provide Hosts with the backing to take the first step and make positive changes.”
Inga Jirgensone, Group Head of Business Development at Energy Saving Trust, said, “Improving the energy efficiency of our homes and switching to low carbon heating systems is the quickest way to reduce energy costs both now and for the long term. These steps are also crucial in reducing carbon emissions as the UK transitions to net zero. We know the value of tailored advice to help people approach retrofitting and to ensure the best outcome for investment. We look forward to working with Airbnb to help develop a more sustainable future for Hosts.”
Linda Ayanwale is a Superhost from London and plans to apply for the scheme. She said, “I bought my property with hosting in mind and share a space in the loft to help cover some of my mortgage repayments. My property is rated D for energy efficiency and is poorly insulated so there is space to make improvements. I want to add better insulation and plan to apply for the grant from Airbnb to help with the costs.”
The grant from Airbnb can be used alongside existing government schemes for energy generation and efficiency improvements to maximise returns.
The Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) is a government scheme to support households in England and Wales with £5,000 towards switching from their old gas boiler to a low carbon solution such as air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps, and £6,000 towards the cost of a biomass boiler.
Households that install electricity generation technologies such as solar PV panels can benefit from selling unused electricity back to the grid as part of the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) scheme. Whilst this wouldn’t support Hosts with the upfront costs, it can accelerate the time it takes to recoup the cost of installation.
Hosts that are keen to be a part of the Sustainable Hosting Plan can register their interest for a grant here. The scheme will be open to Hosts that are based in the UK and have had two or more stays over the past year.
The Sustainable Hosting Plan was also launched by Airbnb in France and is part of Airbnb’s global work to support Hosts and help make travel more sustainable.
Last year, Airbnb committed to a goal of operating as a net zero company by 2030—reducing our corporate greenhouse gas emissions in line with our science-based targets, and using high-quality, nature-based solutions to address residual emissions. In September, we shared our sustainability update setting out our progress and new steps we are taking to help reach our net zero goal.
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