How landlords could help renters reduce their energy bills
It's hard to miss the news - from rising energy costs to worries about the environment, there's never been more focus on our energy bills. It might sound like a daunting task, but you can help relieve the pressure of rising energy bills on your tenants. We’ve teamed up with Kate Faulkner, founder of Property Checklists, to help you find a way.
How can you help your tenants reduce their energy bills?
Our research has found that 65% of renters say they may struggle to pay their energy bills this winter. And renters think landlords could be doing more to help them pay their energy bills…
The best way for landlords to help was clear – the more energy efficient your property is, the lower your tenants’ bills will be!
Shockingly, 85% of renters do not feel that their property is as energy efficient as it could be and think that this is making their energy bills higher. Renters want their properties to be better insulated, with drafts filled in, double glazing and ancient (and inefficient) boilers gone.
Sound complicated? It doesn’t need to be! There are loads of changes you can make to your property to improve energy efficiency:
Kate’s top tips to make your rental property more energy efficient
Whether you pay the bills, or your tenant does, reducing the cost of energy bills will help you both manage your costs. But what easy and relatively cheap ways are there that landlords and tenants can take to keep utility bills down?
Here are Kate Faulkner’s top 5 tips:
1. Get a smart meter
Just like you could upgrade the cars you drive with sat navs or keyless entry, you can also upgrade the meters in your household – but this time at no extra cost!
Smart meters measure household electricity and gas usage in near-real time, and present this on a handy in-home display. On this, you’ll see your energy usage in pounds, pence and kWh. This can help tenants and landlords better understand what is driving the bills up. So households can make changes to reduce their energy use - and save money.
According to our research, 67% of tenants say having a smart meter would help them manage their energy costs – so less stress when the bills come in.
Even better, smart meters will save everyone time by sending the actual readings to the energy supplier automatically.
And if you’re wondering how to begin the process to get a smart meter…
The bill payer can request a smart meter, whether they’re the landlord or tenant. But it is good to talk to each other if you’re thinking about requesting one.
Find out below how to request a smart meter in a rental property:
2. Check what eco features the property has already
Depending on the age of the boiler, you might have an ‘eco mode’ on your boiler which you can turn on. This is on newer, more energy efficient boilers. This could save the bill payer money as it stops water being preheated.
The downside is it takes a little longer for hot water to come out of the tap, but that is a small cost if it reduces the bills!
3. Use LED lighting
Whether you pay the utility bill or not, you should fit LED lights to your property to make it more energy efficient.
Before you re-let the property between tenants, you can fit them. Or if you have a tenant already in the property, advise them they could save around £40 a year by fitting LEDs.
As an added bonus for your tenants, you could even consider gifting them some bulbs to support them following the utility cost rises.
4. Fit thermostats on radiators
If you haven’t already fitted them, thermostats on radiators can help tenants only heat the areas required, or boost the areas they are living in most. This will keep some heat on in rooms used a lot less.
I have these and they are my main way to keep the different rooms I use at different times nice and warm, as well as save money on my bills.
5. If renovating or upgrading a property, fit insulation
A great way to keep costs down for tenants is making sure roof spaces, walls and floors are insulated, basically ensuring less heating is required to keep a home warm.
This is a really cost-effective way to help tenants both now and in the future (or yourself if you are the bill payer) as around 25% of heat loss is via the roof, but if insulation is installed by a professional it should deliver savings for around 40 years.
How to stay warm when bills are rising
Generation Rent hosted a webinar featuring:
- Matthew Copeland, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at NEA
- Michael Browning, Private Sector Safety Team Leader at Oxford City Council
- Fflur Lawton, Head of Public Affairs at Smart Energy GB
They discussed how renters can keep warm during the winter months with higher energy bills.
Click the link below to see the full webinar:
How can you get a smart meter for your rental property?
A smart meter installation is easy, taking as little as two hours and can be scheduled at a time to suit you. Landlords do not need to be present for the installation, but it’s good for landlords and tenants to talk before requesting a smart meter.
If you need more information about the processes you should take before requesting a smart meter, click the link below:
And if you’re the bill payer, and you’re ready to request a smart meter at no additional cost, you can do so below.
Simply type your energy supplier into the box below and we'll connect you to your energy supplier.
Want to find out more?
- Smart meters and rented property – everything you need to know when requesting a smart meter, for landlords and tenants.
- Top tips on making your rented home your own - the improvements private renters can make to their homes, which don't require permission from the landlord.
- The installation process – what will happen once you’ve requested a smart meter?