Low-cost energy saving tips for landlords
With every property now required to carry an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), and with all rental homes required to carry at least an E rating by 2018, there’s never been a better time to make some changes to the energy rating of your rental property. The good news is that this needn’t involve a huge investment. Here are some tips for making low cost energy savings.
- Replace your bulbs
Replacing those energy hungry incandescent bulbs with efficient low energy models can reduce energy bills by around 40%. Install motion sensor or timer lights in any communal areas to minimise energy wastage. If you display exit signs, use LEDs – they’ll save you energy and have a longer life expectancy than standard bulbs.
- Insulate, insulate, insulate
Lagging heating pipes can significantly reduce heat loss. Insulating roof spaces will stop heat escaping through the roof and keep your home warmer for longer – you’ll need to add around 12-18 inches of insulating material. Adding insulating strips to doors and windows can also keep your property warmer and reduce those heating bills. Don’t forget the letterbox – fit an inexpensive brush to stop drafts entering the property. Thermal reflectors positioned behind radiators to bounce heat back into the room are another low cost way to keep the heat inside rather than leaking through doors, windows and roofs.
Finally, a phone call or a web click costs pennies but it can help you check whether your property is eligible for free loft and wall insulation, under Government energy saving schemes.
- Dial down the temperature
Did you know that turning down the temperature on your hot water heating can save 3-5% for every degree? Scalding hot water is unnecessary and can be dangerous – dial it down for a no cost energy saving.
- Spruce up your shower
Installing tap aerators and water saving shower heads is another quick win, when it comes to saving energy and water, too. This simple change offers savings of around 30% on water usage and 30-40% on water heating. If you rely on a shower pump due to poor water pressure, make sure it’s serviced or even swap it for a newer, more efficient model.
- Get energy smart
Those old and lower energy appliances might have been cheap, but they’re costing you money in terms of energy usage. Invest in A (or better) rated appliances for your property and use a smart meter to monitor energy usage. Use an online energy checker to see where further savings might be made.
With the Government expecting all homes to be equipped with a smart meter by 2019, now is a good time to contact your energy suppliers for a good deal. Use your smart monitor to identify energy hungry appliances and replace if necessary. If your property is going to be empty for any length of time, unplug appliances like TVs rather than leaving them on standby.
Every energy company has an Energy Company Obligation (ECO) to help make homes more energy efficient. ECO funding focuses on insulation, energy saving and reducing heating costs and may be available in your area if your tenants are vulnerable or on a low income.
- Get it serviced
Despite Government incentive schemes, boiler replacement is still a relatively costly undertaking, but you can ensure that your existing boiler is running as efficiently as it can by having it regularly serviced. Utility companies usually offer care packages that cost a relatively small amount monthly and can save you a great deal if or when things do go wrong.
- Shop around
Are you on the cheapest possible energy tariff? With just a few mouse clicks and by visiting a comparison website, you could save yourself hundreds of pounds by switching your energy providers. It’s simple but effective.
Following these simple steps can improve the energy rating of your rental property, making it more attractive to potential tenants. With tenants now having the right to demand their landlords make energy efficiency savings, why not preempt any requests and undertake your own energy efficiency audit? Making your rental property cosier, more welcoming and more energy efficient will cut tenants’ bills and ensure they stay in your rental longer, helping you avoid an empty property.