Five great ways to make your property more energy-efficient this winter

The energy efficiency of a property should be of tremendous importance to homeowners, and in particular to landlords. New rules are set to come into effect in April 2018 that will prevent properties that do not score at least an ‘E’ rating on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) being let to new tenants or an existing tenancy being renewed, with very few exceptions. So getting on top of this issue is a must.

What’s more, a property that performs well in its EPC will be cheaper to run and is therefore likely to be more attractive to prospective tenants, making it easier to let and potentially increasing its rental value.

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Allison Thompson, managing director at property specialist Leaders, says: “Landlords have just six months to get their properties up to scratch, so taking action now ahead of the cold winter months is a good idea.

“Many older buildings – such as those dating back to the Victorian and Edwardian eras – will not easily pass an EPC inspection, so significant time and money is often required to allow them to achieve at least an ‘E’ rating. As April’s deadline draws closer, I expect tradespeople to be in high demand, which is another reason to act now.”

Allison has highlighted five steps landlords can take to ensure their tenanted properties achieve improved results in terms of energy efficiency in future.

1) Insulation

Insulating a loft and any cavity walls can make a huge difference to the result of an EPC. Insulation is more affordable than ever before and a highly effective way of retaining heat within a building.

2) Replace the boiler

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An ageing and inefficient boiler is one of the most common causes of energy inefficiency. Replacing – or even servicing – a boiler can drive down power consumption, reduce bills and improve an EPC.

3) Replace windows and doors

Heat often escapes from rooms in the areas around doors and windows, so if you do not have modern double glazing surrounded by airtight seals you could be losing heat (and cash) in these spaces every single day.

4) Heating controls

Even if you are happy with your old boiler, you can still make the most of it with modern heating controls. These include room thermostats and individual radiator valves that allow tenants to heat only particular parts of the home.

5) Efficient lighting

Landlords should replace all existing halogen and standard bulbs with low-energy lighting, compact fluorescent bulbs or light emitting diodes for maximum brightness and minimum energy consumption.

It is important for landlords to check the current EPC rating of their properties well in advance of the deadline to see whether they meet the new legal requirements for April 2018.