With the inception of net zero becoming more and more prominent in the property industry the Minimum Energy Performance of Buildings (No. 2) Bill proposing for all private rented properties to be an EPC grade ‘C’ or above from 2025 comes as no surprise.
Added to this the cost of utilities being high on the list of tenant's wish list for properties, property professionals should really know what makes a property economical to run and what improvements are a must have, and which are a nice to have.
We will point out, we are not here to advise on how to achieve a grade ‘C’ EPCs, but the following will come in handy for future conversations with landlords or tenants!
🌡️ Turn down your thermostat! Sounds simple, but by lowering your thermostat by 10 degrees during the work day will reduce bills by 5-15% every year. If you’re a work from homer, maybe a jacket, gloves and a scarf will be a good option
💡 Switch to energy efficient fittings, use LED bulbs and downlights, consider smart fittings which automatically turn on and off and newer, more energy efficient, appliances.
🚿 Install low-flow showerheads. This can save up to half of showering water use!
🏠 Seal all windows and use door insulation strips around external doors. This will prevent drafts, making the property easier, so more economical, to heat.
🪟 Similarly, invest in thick curtains and shut them to prevent the heat from escaping.
🛋️ Move furniture away from radiators so that the heat can get into the room.
👣 Rugs or carpets on the floor will retain more heat, and make your feet warmer in those cold winter months.
👨🔧 Replace your boiler, newer models are more efficient and can produce less carbon, it’s a win-win!
🏠 Insulate! There are four main types:
- Loft – ¼ of your heat is lost through the roof! Simple and cost effective.
- Solid wall – usually more commonly needed in older buildings, but can reduce internal space, or you’ll have to add a layer to the outside! Can be very costly.
- Cavity wall – often ‘assumed not’ on EPCs, but a great way to insulate!
- Floor – not a great one for improving efficiency, but usually simpler and less expensive that wall insulation.
🤓 Install a smart meter. This will help you to keep track of the energy you’re using and ensure you’re only being charged for what you use. The Government has set a target for all homes to have a smart meter by 2024, however there is no legal obligation in place.
🔆 Generate your own energy from renewable sources. Most commonly solar panels, but this can also include ground and air source heat pumps and, if you’re feeling adventurous, wind turbines.
In rental properties, some of these are more practical than others, and some will be reliant on or the responsibility of tenants, but if landlords start the ball rolling and provide the tools one would hope the tenants will see the intention and carry it forward.
Until next time.