LOCATION, great kerb appeal, well-furnished and reasonable rent – just some of the many reasons that people will choose to be your tenant.
But there is another, and perhaps more obvious way of increasing your yield, making financial savings and improving tenant satisfaction – energy efficiency!
Just a few simple tips and tweaks to your property could save you hundreds of pounds each year – future proof your home and boost your appeal among prospective tenants.
By switching to LED light bulbs, fitting a water-efficient shower and ensuring your property has the correct insulation and draught-proofing are among the changes that could see you well on the way to racking up financial and environmental benefits.
Small changes can make a big difference
Making just a few changes could be the difference between securing that all-important tenancy or the prospective tenant looking elsewhere.
Making your property energy efficient comes with a series of benefits; it can increase rental yields, increase the value of the property, contribute to a higher EPC rating (required by law) reduce energy bills and future proof your property for any future changes to legislation.
And when it comes to the environment, being greener can also lead to a lower-carbon footprint, a reduction in the use of toxic products, using less resources, cutting pollution and improving our health.
When you look at it like this – it has got to be a win-win situation.
Some steps in the right direction
Make the switch
If your appliances are reaching the end of their lives and need an upgrade, make sure you choose electrical goods that are energy efficient. Due to EU regulations, the following appliance must be marked with an energy label indicating how efficient they are:
- Washing machines
- Ovens (electric)
- Freezers and fridges
The energy label rates appliances from G to A, G being the lowest in terms of energy efficiency and A being the highest. Appliances with a higher energy rating will provide the biggest savings longer term.
The Energy Saving Trust has some great tips on making your kitchen energy efficient.
Install Double Glazed Windows
Did you know that you could save an average of between £100 – £120 a year on your bill by installing double glazing throughout a single-glazed property?
In addition to reducing heat loss and energy bills within the property, double glazed windows offer a number of benefits vs. single glazed including:
- Peace and quiet – keeping the heat in and the noise out.
- Providing additional security – the thickness of double-glazed windows makes them less prone to accidental internal breakages and break-ins.
- Helping to keep your cool – in addition to keeping the property warm throughout winter, in the hotter months, double glazing insulates your home against the sun.
- Reduce interior damage – rays from the sun can discolour and damage furniture and carpets. Double glazing reduces these damaging UV rays.
However, if a double-glazing programme is out of financial reach, think about introducing some draught-proofing measures.
Draught-proofing around windows and doors could save you around £20 a year. If you have an open chimney, draught-proofing your chimney when you’re not using it could save around £15 a year.
Around 35 per cent of heat is lost through gaps in doors and windows. Draught-free homes are comfortable at lower temperatures – so you may be able to turn down your thermostat, saving even more on your energy bills.
Replace Old Lightbulbs with Energy Efficient Ones
Changing your lightbulbs to LEDs would save households a staggering £230 million and 430k tonnes of carbon emissions every year.
This saving will likely be passed on to the tenant, however, lighting is one of the categories that is assessed when calculating the EPC rating of the property.
Insulate the loft
Insulating the loft can seem like a chore – but it is quick and easy to install yourself, will keep the heat inside your home instead of going through the roof (literally) which in turn can lead to significant savings when that utility bill lands on the doormat.
Around 25 per cent of heat escapes the home through the roof, so ensuring that the loft is correctly insulated to the correct thickness can not only save you money but as it is effective for around 40 years, means you can get the job done and not worry about it year on year. The Government has published guidelines for loft insulation requirements in the UK.
Additionally, once the loft is insulated, it can be converted into an additional room which can significantly increase the rental yields of your property.
Get smart – install a smart meter
Under a UK Government scheme, smart meters are being rolled out across properties in the UK. We have all seen the TV ads or read about them on money-saving forums. Smart metres are free – and automatically track the amount of energy you’ve used, enabling tenants to keep better track of their energy usage and use less.
Smart meters are available through most energy suppliers, they should contact you when you can get one. As well as being an added value for tenants, installing a smart meter can give you access to better energy tariffs. You can find out more about smart metres and how they work here.
If you have a property that you would like to discuss the management of, or you are looking to become a portfolio landlord, speak to a member of the City and County team today, to understand more about the benefits of partnering with us.