Published by: DR
If energy bills are on your mind, then you might be wondering what you can do to keep those spiralling costs down.
As a landlord, particularly if you have multiple properties, it can seem like a headache trying to work out if your tenants’ homes are as cool, inviting and importantly, energy efficient as they can be.
With the current cost-of-living crisis making energy more expensive than ever, it’s important that you work out ways of you or your tenants keeping energy bills low – depending on whether you offer a bills-included package or not. Even if your tenants are responsible for utilities, you can still work with them to point out ways in which utility bills can be kept low.
Here at Dwell Leeds, we want all parties to have a happy, successful tenancy – so we’ve put together a few of our top tips for best practice concerning utility bills.
Not only could you save some pounds, but it could be the difference between securing a long-term tenancy or not.
Eco-changes to water usage
According to Boiler Central, it would be a good idea to swap baths for showers, which can greatly impact the water consumption a household might use. Opting to take shorter showers uses a third of the water it would to fill a bath, so even if cutting out baths is a no-go, tenants could try to limit it to just once or twice a week.
If you don’t mind spending a bit of money to lower utility bills long-term, then you can also install an eco-showerhead which dispenses less water and reduces water consumption by up to 50%, depending on the type of shower you have. To put this into perspective, you can see instant savings on the water bill – a good selling point for tenants.
Being mindful about leaving taps on when doing small tasks, like brushing teeth or shaving, can also have a huge impact on overall water usage. Turning off the tap while doing these routines will reduce the amount of water wasted, and therefore puts a few extra pounds back in your tenants’ pocket. It’s also advisable to fix water drips, as the water that escapes from a dripping shower or tap adds up over time – you’re literally letting your money go down the drain.
Tenants who do large loads of laundry instead of completing numerous half-cycle washes per week will also save enormous amounts of wasted water and energy. Not only is washing larger cycles more efficient but washing at a reduced temperature will also be beneficial to reducing energy bills.
If your property has got a dishwasher then be careful not to overuse the machine by half-filling it, as this tends to be ineffective. While washing and rinsing small items in the sink may seem like you’re reducing the amount of water wasted, in actuality it causes litres of water to be washed down the drain, which is why it’s recommended that people pop any dirty dishes into the dishwasher instead and allow a full cycle of wash.
Eco-changes to gas usage
The first thing you can do is install a smart thermostat. Due to the technology used inside this gadget, it can understand household patterns in energy usage and adjust the temperature based on when the home is occupied or not.
This will effectively reduce the time that heating and cooling systems are turned on, thus reducing the amount of gas used.
If you’d like to take a more hands-on approach and avoid spending large sums of money, then ask your tenants to hang their washing outside instead of using the tumble-dryer (if your home has one) during the summertime.
Eco-changes to electricity usage
If tenants want to reduce electricity costs, they can start by turning off all standby appliances. It should also be noted that purchasing plug sockets that can be turned on or off via a smartphone are great options if your tenant spends much of their time out of the house.
Stand alone devices, such as laptops, tablets and phones, are also a great way to reduce daily power consumption as opposed to desktop computers. An added bonus is that this will also increase efficiency in work because these devices can be used anywhere, at any time.
Recommend to tenants that lights are turned off when natural light is available, and when it comes to cooking, they should use lids on boiling pans whilst using the right hob, and utilising kitchenware since this will likely speed up the length of time that the appliance is on for.
While you might feel awkward about handing on this advice to tenants, it could save them money in the long-term. Meanwhile, there’s things you can do as a landlord to make your homes more energy efficient and keep utility bills down.
Typically, more efficient properties mean happier tenants, and that’s good news if you don’t want your property standing empty and bringing in no rent for an extended period of time.
Here at Dwell Estate and Letting Agents, we are an award-winning agency based in Leeds who aim to make the lettings process simple by providing the highest levels of customer care in our industry.
For more information on our extensive services for landlords, ranging from basic to a ‘hands off’ fully managed approach, please contact us today.
We also offer an instant valuation tool to give you an estimate of how much you could be charging in rent each month.