energy efficiency house

In this era of climate change, almost everyone in modern society is aware of environmental issues, with the overuse of plastic and the pollution of fossil fuels often highlighted by the media. But how do environmental concerns affect you, as a landlord, letting to a tenant?

Environmental awareness is high on the next generation’s agenda, therefore it does make sense to maximise your property’s energy efficiency. New government legislation made earlier this year means that reaching a minimal level of energy savings is essential to remain compliant with the law and maintain your reputation as a landlord. However, being energy efficient is not only good for the environment, but also beneficial to your and your tenant’s finances too.

The first element to consider is an EPC; an Energy Performance Certificate. This is required by law in the UK for all rented property, but is valid for a considerable period of ten years. From April 2018, new tenancies required a minimum energy rating of “E”, whilst all tenancies will require this from April 2020.

As ARLA Propertymark Protected Agents, we not only ensure that your rental property is operating within the law, but this certification also affirms our higher standard of service.

If you are planning to let a property, then an EPC report must be ordered before marketing begins for a tenant. Or perhaps you need a more up to date EPC due energy enhancing home improvements you may have completed? Whatever your reason, if you require an EPC, we can happily arrange this for you. Please contact our Lettings Department on 01252 514000, or via email.

One of the biggest drains on energy resources in the home is heat loss due to poor insulation. According to the Energy Saving Trust, cavity wall insulation significantly reduces heat loss. Strangely, solid walls lose twice the amount of heat compared to cavity walls, so they could also be well worth insulating. It also saves energy to have good loft and roof insulation, or to insulate hot water tanks and behind radiators, thus increasing the time that the hot water retains the temperature. Insulating underneath floorboards, as well as sealing gaps between floors and skirting can also help reduce heat loss.

Glazing is an all important consideration, with decent glazing making a significant difference to not just the heat loss of a building, but also reducing your carbon footprint, cold spots, draughts and the problem of condensation. According to PropertyMark, the average home loses approximately 10% of heat via doors and windows.

An efficient boiler and heating system will not only save energy but also decrease your tenant’s energy costs. The Energy Saving Trust advises that over half of energy costs are spent on heating and hot water and as such, the boiler and heating system are an important factor influencing the EPC rating of your property.

Renewable energy will certainly have appeal to environmentally concerned tenants, but could well give you the reassurance as a landlord that you are playing your part in society in using clean energy. Popular Mechanics advise that solar panels can provide up to 10 Watts per square foot, depending on the angle and position of your property, just a few could easily meet the average consumption of approximately a kilowatt. If that seems like overreaching, then perhaps consider switching your energy supplier to an eco-friendly supplier – click here to compare green energy suppliers.

There are simple differences that you can make around the home; carpets and heavy fitting curtains will help increase heat retention and could also add a bit of comfort and style to appeal to potential tenants, especially if presented in fashionably light, neutral tones. Also, draught-proofing windows and doors is perhaps one of the most obvious ways of retaining heat within the home.

Updates to your lighting will also make an incredible difference, with lighting accounting for a fifth of the average household bill (PropertyMark, 2018). Two types of energy saving bulbs are now available in the UK Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) as well as the more well-known Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).

Of course, your tenants can also help to control the amount of energy loss within the home. Not heating the home at too high a temperature, setting the thermostat to the timer or turning the radiator down in rooms that are not used very often, are just a few ways of reducing energy wastage. Simple actions such as organising room furniture well so as not to block the radiators, defrosting the freezer regularly and keeping the fridge between 3 and 5 degrees will also help to lower costs and energy use.

If you require any more information or advice in regards to letting your property, or are looking to rent, please feel free to contact our Lettings Department on 01252 514000, or email lettings@mackenziesmith.co.uk.