How to Make Rental Properties More Energy Efficient
With a twin result of helping the environment and saving whoever pays the bills money, it is essential to know how to make rental properties more energy efficient. If the landlord pays for the energy usage in the property, being able to advise them on the best way to cut costs can boost the relationship between letting agent and landlord. If the tenants pay, they are more likely to stay long term in a property that is energy efficient and costs them less each month than other homes.
There are a number of suggestions you can make to landlords to help them make rental properties more energy efficient. Some are simple and quick wins, others require an investment that will pay off over time. Keep reading for top tips on increasing energy efficiency in a rental property.
Install a New Boiler
Boiler technology is advancing at a rapid rate and the major manufacturers are creating ever more efficient systems. A brand new boiler nowadays is required by law to be more than 88% efficient, which would mean that only 12% of energy used to power it is not converted into heat. In fact, many leading models boast efficiency ratings in the mid-90% range, meaning that they waste very little of the fuel. But you will find that some older boilers might be just 65% efficient and a regular, mid-sized, detached property could save up to £350 a year by switching to a new energy efficient boiler.
At one point, the government’s ECO funding scheme allowed private tenants to apply for grants to replace their landlords’ old boilers with new, efficient models. This is unfortunately no longer the case. However, installing new boilers remains an excellent way to make rental properties more energy efficient and they do pay for themselves through the savings made on energy consumption over time.
Fit Energy Efficient Windows
Energy efficient windows not only help save money on energy bills in a rental property and therefore benefit the environment and the bill payer’s pocket, but they also have a number of other benefits. They reduce cold spots and draughts by cutting heat loss. This can help cut the risk of condensation and damp in the property, making it a more pleasant place to live and easier to maintain in a good condition.
Another key benefit of energy efficient windows in rental properties is the way they reduce noise. The insulation against external noise is ideal, particularly for families with young children who might otherwise be woken by excess activity on the street. All of these positives help make the rental property a more pleasurable place in which to live. When tenants are happy in their home, they are more likely to stay for longer periods, keeping properties occupied and landlords satisfied.
Insulate The Loft
Whereas installing a new builder and fitting new windows are costly jobs that pay off over time, insulating your loft is fairly cheap but extremely effective. At just £5 per square metre or thereabouts, loft insulation does a great job of reducing heat loss and making rental properties more energy efficient.
More of the heat stays within the property, with less escaping through the roof and being wasted. This reduces the tenants’ need to have the heating on and makes a smaller amount of energy go much further.
In addition, you could insulate the walls for an even more energy efficient effect.
Switch Lightbulbs to LEDs
Another minor change with a significant effect when it comes to increasing energy efficiency in a rental property is installing LEDs instead of your current lightbulbs. LED lightbulbs are much more efficient than the standard bulbs you are likely to currently have in your home. This means that, for £100 and even possibly less, you can make a big difference.
Reasons to Make Rental Properties More Energy Efficient
As well as the main reasons to make rental properties more energy efficient, saving money on bills and helping the environment, there is another reason that landlords need to keep a keen eye on wastefulness. Since April 1st 2018, all private rental properties in England and Wales must achieve at least an E on the energy rating system.
Up until now, this has only applied to new tenancies, but from 2020, it will also apply to ongoing tenancies. This means that letting agents who have clients with long standing tenants must make sure that the properties in question are as efficient as they can be. If they are struggling to hit the minimum requirements, then performing any of the above tasks could be enough to put them on the right side of the legislation.
When it comes to energy efficiency, a lot of it comes down to good maintenance. This is one of the key areas covered by Executive Property Management Solutions in our outsourced property management packages. Take a look at the Making Lettings Easier page to find out more and contact us today to find out how we can help you make your properties as energy efficient as possible.