According to OVO Energy, in 2019 the average annual combined gas and electricity bill for UK households reached an eye-watering £1,289 a year. Broken down, the average electricity bill was £679 – an increase of 6% compared to 2018. As for gas, the average bill was estimated as £610 – a rise of 2.8%.
Therefore it's understandable that tenants are seeking energy efficient homes and the benefits they bring - an improved quality of living and a potential reduction in fuel bills. There is some good news for landlords: the Government will fund up to two-thirds of the cost of home improvements of over 600,000 homes, supporting over 100,000 jobs in green construction. The £2billion Green Homes Grant will help homeowners and landlords in England pay for green improvements to properties, such as wall and loft insulation, draught-proofing and double glazing.
As we head towards the colder months, and with more and more people working from home now (bumping up energy bills considerably), if you're a landlord, implementing these energy-saving measures could really help your tenants.
Thick or insulated furnishings might be slightly more expensive initially, but they’ll provide a noticeable difference in warmth for your tenants. As the nights draw closer, insulated curtains and blinds take the work out of making sure precious heat isn’t lost and wasted through windows and doors. It’s also possible to purchase stick-on insulation for the bottom of any doors causing an irritating draft.
This is both an affordable and easy fix – simply contact your water or energy supplier or local hardware shop to get your hands on one. While showers are more energy-efficient than baths, families can use over 500 litres of water per day just by showering! Swapping the existing showerhead for a water-saving one will not only save your tenants money but it’ll help reduce your carbon footprint, too.
Does your rental property have double (or secondary) glazing? If not, it might be time to consider investing. Your tenants would be amazed by the difference double glazing makes, both to the warmth of their home and their energy bills. While it isn’t such a cheap or easy fix, replacing worn and drafty windows should be seen as a long term investment, as it will likely improve the sale price of your property, should you ever want to move on.
Insulating your loft or any cavity walls can make a noticeable difference to the result of your EPC and doesn’t need to be expensive. Insulation is more affordable than ever before and is a highly effective way of retaining heat within a building. With 33% of the heat circulating your home lost by uninsulated walls and loft space, this improvement is a no brainer when considering warmth and efficiency. Simply visit the Government website for information on insulation grants and how to go about installing insulation.
This is super easy and is something your tenants will be happy to do. Ask them to get in touch with their energy supplier, if you don’t arrange these bills yourself. They can then arrange a convenient time for workmen to come out and install the device, which doesn’t take long. Not only will this save your tenants money, it promotes a more eco-friendly way of living by contextualising the cost of wasteful habits.
Need more tips on how best to manage your rental property? For extra ideas or advice, contact your local branch here.
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