5 Ways Make your Property More Energy Efficient
With the eyes of the world on the UK, in particular, Glasgow, Scotland who is hosting COP26 (also known as The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference) taking place between 1st and 12th November 2021, climate change is at the forefront of everyone’s mind.
The significant political and social focus on climate change and global warming is affecting all areas of our lives and all industries, including the buy-to-let market. Especially with new and future generations of tenants, it’s both important and cost-effective to ensure that any property you’re renting out is environmentally friendly and energy-efficient.
In an attempt to reduce carbon emissions, the UK Government brought in the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) which requires all properties being let or sold to have a minimum EPC rating of ‘E’ or above. It is a legal requirement that any property you rent out or sell has a valid EPC with the stated minimum EPC rating, or you can face fines up to £5,000. As such, taking some small steps to make your property more energy-efficient can save you time and money in the long run and will contribute towards the climate change movement to save the planet.
In this blog, we will cover our top tips to make your property more energy-efficient.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, a quarter of the heat in a property is lost through the roof of an uninsulated home. Loft insulation is an inexpensive and very effective way to reduce heat loss and your energy bills and if done right, can last you up to 40 years. It’s not just your loft you can insulate though, you can insulate the floors or even the walls, especially if your property is detached or semidetached as this can help even further to conserve energy.
Switching to energy-efficient lighting is the fastest way to cut your energy bills. This small change can have a big impact on enhancing the energy efficiency of your property, and whilst it might not save you as much money in the long run as some of the other methods if your EPC rating is down, it might only take switching from old halogen or incandescent light bulbs to LED light bulbs to lift your property up one or two ratings. Over the years LED bulbs have benefited from advancements in technology and can now last, on average, up to 20 years before they need to be changed.
If you’re going to optimise for energy efficiency, heading to the source of the heat should be one of your first ports of call. Your central heating system is the foundation of your property’s EPC rating and represents a significant chunk of energy costs. Boilers will typically last around 10-15 years and as boiler technology has evolved over the years, leading manufacturers are developing increasingly efficient systems. A new boiler must be more than 88% efficient, which means that only 12% of the energy used to power it is not transformed into heat. Most new boilers score over 90%, therefore wasting very little fuel in comparison to many old boilers, some of which are less than 70% efficient. Upgrading to a new boiler is an investment and will likely set you back between £1,000 and £3,000, however, this initial expenditure could be paid back in spades by making your home significantly more energy-efficient and as a result, more attractive to prospective tenants.
According to The Centre for Sustainable Energy, homes lose 10-20% of their heat through windows and external doors. Most new properties have double-glazing windows installed as a standard but if any properties you own do still have single glazing, it’s worth upgrading to double glazing. As well as helping minimise energy loss, it can also reduce condensation, keep the property warmer in the winter months and even help to make the home quieter – especially valuable if it’s on a busy road. Draught proofing through blinds and curtains, around windows and doors, can help to maximize the effect of your double-glazing and save even more energy.
A smart meter is the next generation of a gas and electricity meter. Instead of estimated billing, a smart meter automatically sends your readings to your energy supplier at least once a month, meaning you (or your tenants) will receive accurate, not estimated bills. Due to the digital screen on the meter, it’s easy for your tenants to see how much energy they are using, so they can modify their behaviours accordingly to become less wasteful and reduce their bills. Smart Energy GB estimate a 24% decrease in emissions from homes and businesses by 2030 using smart meters.
In a crowded rental market, it’s imperative to know who you can rely on to maximise your return on property rental. If you choose ZFA Group, we will handle the management of your property with expertise and experience to offer you the highest quality service.
If you’re interested in upgrading the energy efficiency of your buy-to-let property, chat to one of our friendly knowledgeable employees – we can help you with a range of services, from rent guarantee and property management, estate agency and property investment, and commercial letting.
Contact us today if you have any questions and we’ll take care of the rest.
I have been working with ZFA for 4 years and they manage my full portfolio. I don't need to worry about a thing, they manage every aspect of my properties - highly recommended.
Mr Stephen Jones