Sustainability and efficient energy has become the forefront of the property industry – and it’s about time too. Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) regulations are changing, and landlords need to be ready. From 2025, all new tenancies will need to have an EPC rating of ‘C’ or above. This will be applied to all tenancies from 2028. That doesn’t leave much time for landlords to comply – with minimum standard currently resting at ‘E’ rating. Here are the MFS top 5 energy efficiency hacks to help increase your properties EPC ratings:
1) Mist Shower
Rain misting showers are an easy insultation add-on that emits only very fine drops of water, minimising the amount of water used per shower. They could help you reduce your property:
- Reduce wastewater usage
- Lower energy costs
- Help decrease emissions from distribution
Taking a shower is not something we really think about on a day-to-day basis. In 2019, the second most significant uses of energy – following heating – for a majority of UK homes came from shower usage. It’s estimated that everyone takes at least one shower per day – whether that’s at homes, in the gym or staying in a hotel. A standard shower will release 12 litres every minutes. By reducing the flow of water with finer water droplets, a mist shower could help improve your assets water wastage whilst simultaneously reducing water bills for tenants.
2) Increase Insulation
Increasing your priorities insulation will help your property retain its heat. This could result in cheaper bills for your tenants, as well as increasing your property’s efficiency.
There are two types of insulation improvement:
- Loft insulation
- Cavity wall insulation
Loft insulation is notably the cheaper option of the two, as well as being quick and easy to install.
As Christmas comes ever closer, I think it’s fair to say we all reach for the thermostat at least once in the evenings. The cost of electricity is looking to increase by 30% within 2022, as the UK faces increased energy usage during 2021. For tenants, this means they’re likely to prioritize properties with an overall, higher efficient EPC rating.
Source: The Guardian
3) Solar Panels
Solar panels are often situated onto the roof of a property to generate renewable solar energy. Solar panels can cost anywhere from £10,000 – £15,000 for a 4kw system. This will depend on factors such as:
- Number of panels
- Roof space
There are two types of solar panels you should be aware of:
- Solar PV panels: For a 4kW system, you’d expect to use 12 – 16 panels as they are only 20% effective on average
- Solar thermal panels: Often see these as one flat panel and they are about 80% effective
Not only will solar panels help you reach the EPC 2025 deadline, but they could also reduce your tenants’ monthly energy bills – becoming an attractive bonus for renters.
4) Replacing your Boiler
Replacing your boiler might seem like just an added expense to being a landlord, but it holds the potential to improve your properties energy efficiency by as much as 34% – if installing a new A-rated condensing boiler. When it comes to replacing your old boiler, building regulations stipulate that any new boiler must be A-rated for energy efficiency.
Source: Centre of Sustainable energy
There are two key types of boilers you should be aware of:
- System boilers: These have a separate cylinder to store hot water
- Combi boilers: Doesn’t require a hot water cylinder as it only heats water on demand
Combi boilers are highly efficient, minimising the amount of water heated only to remain unused and cool throughout the day. However, there are several factors that you should consider:
A. The number of people living in the property.
Several occupants may benefit from a system boiler due to the increase in numbers. For example, large student accommodation may require a system boiler to ensure the property has enough hot water for morning showers due to the number of people living within the property.
B. The size of the property can also be a contributing factor
As combi boilers do not require a large storage tank, they are often sought after for smaller, semi-detached properties. Focusing on storage space over a large boiler tank is also another way to attract tenants.
Double and triple glazed windows are a great way to keep heat locked into your property. They help minimise droughting and retain the warm air inside your buy-to-let asset.
On top of this, having more windows could save energy by utilising natural light. Large windows are often attractive for tenants too.
Triple glazing helps prevent heat from escaping, saving energy and therefore cutting bills, due to an extra layer of insulation.
Bright Future with Bridging
We’re all looking at how we can make the future a brighter place. Following the Green Home Grant in March this year, the government will be releasing a new scheme in 2022. The Boiler Upgrade Scheme will provide an opportunity to install low-carbon heating systems. The government will provide £5000 grants to households, to help decarbonise heat and buildings.
You can find out more about the scheme on the Gov.uk website here.
Bridging is a fast and effective way to raise finance quickly for property renovations or conversions. Other elements you can consider are:
- Smart metres
- Composting toilets
- Rainwater collection
Read more on sustainable housing in one of our latest articles, bridging for a better world. Here we highlight how sustainability within the housing market can be attained and steps we need to take to improve future assets.
You can raise funds through a second charge bridging loan. If you’re looking to make home improvements, then check out our permitted and light development bridging loans here.
Before making changes to your property, it’s always good to check with your local planning office to ensure you are in keeping with regulations.