While figures have not yet been released, it’s thought that thousands of landlords have been affected by the implementation of Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards, which forced properties with an EPC rating below E off the market. But it’s not too late for landlords with EPC ratings of F and G – there are plenty of quick ways to improve even the lowest ratings and get properties back on the rental market. While they do require an initial outlay, these quick but comprehensive changes will get even a significantly substandard property back on the market (so landlords aren’t losing rental income) – and save property owners (and tenants) money in the long run.
Invest in a condensing boiler
While new boilers don’t come cheap, this is the quickest way to make a significant impact on a property’s energy efficiencies. Because, unlike gas boilers, condensing boilers use the heat from both fuel burning and the thermal energy from condensation, some manufacturers claim that their condensing boilers can reach efficiency rates of up to 98%. Not only is this likely to drastically improve a property’s EPC rating, it should also significantly reduce bills, making properties more desirable to both landlords and tenants.
Upgrade all your appliances
Newly released appliances such as fridges, freezers, dishwashers and washing machines are legally required to have an energy efficiency rating of A or above, which means that installing them will automatically upgrade your rating. Again, this is an expensive fix in the short term, but it will make a difference in the long term. And appliances from 2018 rather than 1998 (when the average dishwasher had an efficiency rating of D) are likely to make your property much more marketable to tenants.
Look into more efficient showerheads
It never rains but it pours – the average shower uses around 60 litres of water, much of which is wasted. Instead of trying to convince tenants to settle for taking baths, landlords could look at installing an energy-efficient showerhead. Substantially cheaper than fitting out a new boiler, energy-efficient showerheads work by restricting the volume of water allowed to flow through them, without effecting water pressure. This means higher EPC ratings and lower bills for the same shower experience, which is a definite win.
For landlords with properties that just need to be nudged over the line, there are plenty of smaller changes that can make a big difference to a rating. Switching to LED lights, installing a smart meter and investing in thicker home furnishings and draft excluders are just some of the simple ways to make a property more energy-efficient. For a more detailed look at these quick fixes, why not download Fixflo’s free eBook, The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards: What are the Quick Wins?