ADVICE FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY: A LANDLORDS GUIDE

Posted on March 1st, 2024.

Whether you’ve been a landlord for decades or you’re just starting out, you are most likely aware that managing rental properties in London comes with its own set of challenges and responsibilities. One crucial aspect that should never be overlooked is energy efficiency. Managing an energy-efficient property isn’t just about being mindful of our planet, it can also save you money in the long run and attract quality tenants. However, there’s no denying that the world of energy management can be confusing, but don’t worry, Ashmore Residential are here to help. In this guide, we’ll walk you through our top tips for energy efficiency landlords in London need to know, and the key steps to optimize energy efficiency in your rental properties

Understanding the Importance of Energy Efficiency

When landlords first think about energy efficiency in the context of their property, they often think it’s all about environmental sustainability and “doing their bit” for the planet’. Whilst these things are certainly important, energy efficiency concerns the tenant more than anyone else. Tenants are becoming increasingly worried about the dramatically rising UK energy costs, making them far more discerning when it comes to the energy performance of a property.

Ultimately, this means that optimizing the energy efficiency of your property can present significant benefits for you and your tenants. These include:

Attract Tenants : Prospective tenants are more likely to choose a rental property in London with lower energy bills, making your property more appealing.

Lower Operating Costs : Energy-efficient properties in London can reduce your operational expenses, improving your overall ROI

Legal Compliance : An energy-efficient property will ensure that the UK’s Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulations are met, helping you to avoid significant non-compliance fines.

Assessing Your Property’s Energy Performance

Before you take any steps toward making your property more efficient, it’s essential to first understand its current energy performance. This will involve obtaining an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), which will rate your property’s energy efficiency on a scale from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient).

Not only does an EPC help you understand how efficient your property currently is, but it also breaks down energy statistics, helping to shine a light on areas for improvement within your property and serving as a roadmap for upgrades. Thankfully, it’s simple to get started with this, as the UK Government website provides an online portal for finding yourself an assessor.

Making Upgrades

Once you have received an EPC, you should have a better idea of areas for improvement regarding the energy efficiency of your rental property in London. Now, let’s look at some of the most common practices that UK landlords take to futureproof their tenants’ energy consumption.

Sealing the Gaps

A common source of energy wastage in rental properties is drafts and gaps, leading tenants to use heating when it otherwise would not be needed. To tackle this, you should check all windows, doors, and any other openings for drafts. Seal gaps where necessary, and upgrade to double-glazed windows if you haven’t already, as this can significantly improve insulation and reduce heat loss. Don’t underestimate the power of a high-quality set of thick curtains too!

Insulation Matters

Another equally important contribution to energy inefficiency in properties is a lack of insulation. You’ll be painfully aware of how chilly our UK winters can become, and if your property’s walls and roof aren’t layered with sufficient insulation, heat can easily escape. It’s undeniable that assessing and installing internal insulation can feel like a big task, but trust us – the long-term cost savings make it more than worth it.

Efficient Appliances

Rental property energy efficiency doesn’t just concern its internal insulation, but also the appliances that it hosts. Over the years, energy-hungry appliances such as boilers, radiators, lighting, and white goods have become far more efficient, but you could still be using outdated hardware within your property.

Once you have your EPC, you can use this to analyse the energy rating for rental property appliances and consider replacing any old, inefficient appliances with modern, energy-efficient models. This may be somewhat of a financial sting initially, but it will mean your tenants will be paying far less for their energy, and this could be a lucrative opportunity for you to increase your rental prices.

Don’t forget to take advantage of any government grants available for energy-efficient upgrades too! The UK government currently offers various levels of financial support to landlords who make energy-efficient improvements to their properties.

Encourage Responsible Tenant Behaviour

It should go without saying that once tenants occupy your rental property in London, the amount of energy that they use is out of your control, but this doesn’t mean that there is nothing you can do. Upon accepting new tenants, consider preparing a written package or having a transparent conversation with them about their energy usage.

Educate them about energy efficiency, encourage responsible energy usage, and provide simple tips such as turning off lights and appliances, closing curtains at night, and keeping an eye on their boiler pressure. It would also be helpful to liaise with your energy provider to install smart meters, as this helps tenants monitor and control their energy consumption.

Regular Maintenance

So, you’ve renovated your property with some modern upgrades, had an informative discussion with your tenants, and you’re now confident that your property is far more equipped for efficient energy consumption. However, your efforts shouldn’t stop there – regular maintenance of your property’s heating and cooling systems, as well as other energy-related equipment, is crucial.

Properly maintained systems work more efficiently and have a longer lifespan, which will save you more than a few pounds in the future. Keep an eye on this and make sure you conduct regular assessments on power-hungry appliances!

An energy-efficient property was once considered a luxury, but with today’s high cost-of-living it’s a necessity. By taking proactive steps to improve the energy efficiency of your rental properties in London, you can not only reduce your environmental footprint but also attract quality tenants and save money on operational costs.

Start making a change today by organising an energy efficiency assessment for your property, and move forward from there. You’ll have to make an upfront investment, but your tenants, your wallet, and the planet will thank you for it in the future!

Ashmore Residential are your rental property management experts for the London area.

Call us on 020 8366 9777 or email info@ashmoreresidential.com to find out how we can help you stay ahead with the energy efficiency of your rental property.