While the interests of homeowners and those who live in the private rented sector are not always linked, it's fair to say that any hikes in energy prices are invariably met with a collective sigh from the entire population.

And with British Gas being the latest of the Big Six to announce plans to increase its rates this winter, households around the country will be looking for ways to limit their energy use and restrict the impact of higher bills.

So in a bid to protect tenants from the rising cost of utilities and reduce the strain on their budgets, the National Landlords Association (NLA) has called on the nation's landlords to realise the potential of the Green Deal when it comes to improving the carbon friendly credentials of their properties.

David Salusbury, chairman of the NLA, said: "The golden rule of the Green Deal means that tenants' energy bills will never be more than if the energy efficiency measures had not been installed.

"We hope that the Green Deal will help tenants reduce their energy consumption, in turn easing the impact of any energy price rises."

Under the terms of the Green Deal, property owners can cover the cost of energy efficiency improvements with loans which are paid back through their energy bills.

And due to the nature of the scheme and the energy savings that result from more sustainable homes, the bills will never be higher than they would have been had any work not been carried out.

Not only can this factor make a tenancy more attractive, but it is also a long-term investment which reduces the risk of tenants facing difficulty in splitting their budgets between the rent and the cost of energy.

So if anyone in the lettings game is considering making energy efficient improvements, the Green Deal could be the ideal means of doing so, while any fresh installations can be protected with landlord insurance policies.