It’s probably safe to say that improving energy efficiency doesn’t usually tend to be the number one priority for landlords. With so many responsibilities and duties to attend to, making efforts to reduce energy use and generally improve efficiency of the property usually takes a back seat. Which on the surface appears to be understandable, if it wasn’t for the fact that energy efficiency is becoming one of the most critical decision influencing factors among tenants seeking quality properties.
These days, energy performance certificates represent a legal requirement and must be presented to prospective tenants prior to their signing of the tenancy agreement. If the property has a higher energy efficiency rating, this will mean lower energy bills for the tenants and a higher likelihood that they will sign up. And of course, if you would prefer to hold onto the tenants you already have, implementing measures that may significantly reduce their energy bills will undoubtedly motivate them to stay.
So whether you’re managing a nationwide portfolio of properties using elite property management software or are working with your first ever buy-to-let property, here’s a quick rundown of just a few simple yet highly effective energy saving tips:
1 – Lighting
First and foremost, upgrading to incredibly energy efficient LED lighting may have been a rather expensive prospect a few years ago – today it’s quite to the contrary. An extraordinary array of new brands have launched are an endless array of LED lights and lighting fixtures, the likes of which are comprehensively affordable across the board. Simply switching one or two bulbs to LEDs may not add up to the biggest difference, but to swap each and every bulb across the property in its entirety most certainly will. What’s more, LED bulbs will probably last the entirety of the current tenancy, perhaps even the next two or three.
2 – Heating System Insulation
In older properties in particular, failing to insulate the heating system in general can lead to significant heat loss and higher energy bills. Insulating the pipe work around the property is by far one of the easiest and most effective methods for ensuring that as little heat is unnecessarily lost as possible. It’s a simple DIY job that can be completed in no time and is guaranteed to make a significant difference long-term.
3 – Check The Water Heater
In many rental properties, the tenants themselves are not given access to the water heater. Or it may simply be a case that the tenancy agreement requests that the water heater not be tampered with – in any case, you have full control over the temperature of the water. The simple fact of the matter is that there is absolutely no sense in setting the temperature of the water heater so high that the water it produces is too hot to be of any real use – perhaps even dangerous.
4 – Water-Saving Features
For tenants living in properties where water is measured in accordance with how much is used, the importance of installing water saving features is total. Simply by adding water-saving accessories to the taps and the shower, you’ll make an enormous difference to how much water is used on a day to day basis. You might also want to think about installing a modern water saving toilet, which has the potential to reduce daily water use by literally hundreds of litres.
5 – Appliance Checks
Never fall into the trap of assuming that to provide any given appliances or electrical devices for the tenants to use necessarily represents generosity on your part. In reality, if the appliances you leave in the property are borderline ancient and have a tendency to drink up electricity like it was free, you are in fact doing your tenants a real disservice. There’s nothing to say that you absolutely have to provide appliances and convenience for your tenants to use. But if you do, you should at least make sure that they are of decent quality.
6 – Energy Providers
Last but not least, it’s never been easier to head onto the Internet and in the space of a couple of minutes find out whether or not you could be getting a better deal on your energy bills with a different provider. More often than not, energy providers will stop at nothing to win new business and will usually offer the kinds of deals that go far above and beyond your current contract. It takes no time to find out and could save both you and your tenants a small fortune.