Author : Marry-Anne Bowring
A higher Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating helps landlords and tenants in several ways. It mitigates energy bills in the face of the recent price-cap increase, helping them move closer to complying with proposed standards. Most UK landlords are moving in the right direction to ensure a reduction in energy bills by making energy efficiency upgrades. There are practical and affordable tips to address the justifiable concerns of PRS landlords in improving the EPC rating of the property.
Quick and easy ways for tenants to boost energy efficiency
Tenants can play their role in raising the energy efficiency of the rented home, though they cannot implement radical steps for improving the EPC rating. These minor acts can support landlords in their efforts to enhance energy efficiency.
Boil optimum quantity of water- Fill the kettle with sufficient water to avoid wastage of energy.
Control use of the washing machine- Reducing the frequency of using the washing machine to once a week and operating at an optimum temperature of 30 degrees C can save energy. Periodic cleaning of the dryer and filter will boost its efficiency.
Do not block radiators- Consider moving large pieces of furniture away from the radiator. Avoid using a radiator to dry clothes.
Ensure ventilation behind the refrigerator- Maintain adequate distance between the wall and refrigerator, and get rid of the dust on the coils for higher efficiency.
Consider switching suppliers- It is possible to save money by switching supplier. Tenants can switch suppliers if they pay the bills.
Switch off lights when not needed- Make a habit of switching off the lights if nobody is in the room.
Affordable short-term tips for a better EPC rating
Landlords of privately rented homes can consider the following to raise the EPC rating of their properties:
Install a smart meter- Traditional meters may not provide accurate readings. Shifting to a smart meter will help you avoid meter reading charges.
Maintain the boiler in proper working order- Inefficient boilers with faulty controls and thermostats result in higher energy consumption. Perform regular maintenance and replace faulty controls for optimum energy output with a lower carbon footprint.
Radiators- Ensure yearly maintenance of radiators for their proper working. Using reflective panels is helpful for heat loss prevention through walls.
Replace all old lights with LEDs- LEDs ensure considerable savings on energy bills and are more durable than old light bulbs.
Insulation of pipes and tank- pipe insulation minimizes heat loss. Use foam tubes to insulate pipes for hot water. A thick cylinder jacket is suitable for hot water tank insulation.
Prevent heat loss from floors and windows-Use thicker fabric for curtains and carpets to conserve heat.
Long-term investment in improving energy efficiency
Adopt the following approaches to augment energy efficiency on a long-term basis.
Energy-efficient heating options- Changing to a more energy-efficient heating alternative like an Air Source Heat Pump minimizes energy consumption by absorbing heat from the outside environment. Ground Source Heat Pumps work by extracting heat from the ground. GSHPs are suitable for use throughout the year and are low on maintenance.
Replace appliances with a higher energy rating-replace appliances with an A+++ energy efficiency rating before renting.
Upgrade to a condensing boiler- These boilers use heat from the exhaust flute to deliver higher energy efficiency.
Home insulation- It is an affordable option for enhancing energy efficiency. Insulating external walls, ground floors, lofts, and roofs using solid wall or cavity insulation techniques is the straightforward alternative to achieve a higher energy efficiency rating. Seek expert advice for insulating homes with prefabricated concrete and other construction materials. These tips help private landlords and tenants of private rental homes reduce energy bills and improve their Energy Performance Certificate. A proactive approach is necessary to facilitate compliance with the new EPC regulations.
Mary-Anne Bowring FIRPM FRICS FARLA FCABE Founder/Head of Asset Management
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