Energy efficiency is big news at the moment, whether the media is reporting on renewable energy, crude oil prices or domestic heating bills. Everyone is talking about it, and the government is no exception as it looks to improve the energy efficiency of buy-to-let properties.
Since April, there has been a minimum standard – Band E – for energy efficiency of all new or renewed leases on properties rented privately. Existing tenancy agreements have until April 2020 to come into line.
Efficiency is important
Warm homes are important for landlords and tenants alike. A good EPC rating for a landlord means a selling point for attracting tenants, and for tenants, knowing they can be comfortable and healthy for a reasonable price is a huge positive. Taking time to make a property as energy efficient as possible prior to a tenancy is a sound move for landlords.
Upgrade the boiler
An inefficient boiler can cause all sorts of problems, so whilst replacing it can seem a significant investment, leaving it and making repairs can be equally costly and for inefficiency along the way. A new boiler can instantly boost a property’s efficiency rating.
Install a smart meter
Being able to see how much energy is being used on a smart meter is a great way of saving energy, and as a result, money, for the tenant. Reducing temperatures by just a single degree is a well-publicised way of saving money, so adding a thermostat supports having a smart meter in the property.
LED lightbulbs are another way of saving, making a property more efficient, and the bulbs have a much longer life. Property inventory software from businesses like Inventory Base https://inventorybase.co.uk/ can help landlords keep track of investments like the smart meter or lightbulbs.
Lots of heat escapes through windows and doors so replacing them with quality double-glazed units will help improve energy efficiency. Replacing windows and doors is not cheap, but as an investment, it is likely to improve the future resale value too.
See the government’s ideas for more tips on how to maximise the efficiency of energy in your home, whether you own or rent.
Aside from these tips, there are ‘cosmetic’ things that tenants can do themselves, like hanging curtains or using draft excluders.