Anna Bibby, 19 February 2021
Tenants tend not to be as scrupulous about energy efficiency as homeowners are, but that can be a huge mistake. As tenants, you will be the ones living in the property and covering the energy bill so its important to be mindful of the energy efficiency of your home.
Not only is your home’s energy efficiency beneficial for the environment but it also helps you to save a substantial amount of money. Many people believe that it is purely down to the landlord to make sure that a property is energy efficient and while this is the case for the most part, there are also a few simple, but effective steps that tenants can take to ensure that their home’s energy efficiency is up to scratch.
1. Check the energy efficiency before you move into a property.
It is now a legal requirement for rental properties to have an EPC rating of at least E. However, it’s probably worth noting the EPC of your property before moving in because if the property has a lower EPC rating, it will end up costing you more in the long run. It might also be worth your while to check the energy labels and the age of your boiler when viewing a property - if they’re older, they will be less energy efficient and again, it will end up costing you more money.
2. Make sure your property is draught proof.
Its not uncommon to feel a cold draught in your home, especially if you live in an older property. This can often lead to you cranking up the heating which will also start adding up on your energy bill. Thankfully, there are easy and cost-effective solutions to eliminate any draughts in your home. This includes filling any cracks in the floors and skirting boards, buying draught excluders for doors and sealing off letter boxes and unused chimneys. You can also purchase stick-on insulation for draughty doors and windows. An even simpler solution would be purchase heavy curtains for your windows, as they retain more heat.
3. Familiarise yourself with your heating system.
When moving into a new property, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the heating system and boiler. This might seem like an obvious point to make, but a surprising amount of people tend to overlook this when they move into a new home and they don’t use their boiler in an efficient way. When you move in, familiarise yourself with the controls of your heating system and if they seem complicated, ask your landlord or letting agent to fully explain them for you.
4. Be mindful of your electricity usage.
A lot of us have the habit of leaving our appliances on standby when we’re not using them. While this might be more convenient, it is costing you a lot of money, not to mention that it is adding to your carbon footprint by a considerable amount. Unplugging your TV, computers and washing machine when you have finished using them can save you as much as £30 a year - pretty impressive for something that takes seconds!
5. Watch your water usage.
Like with electricity, using too much water can increase your carbon footprint significantly and will ultimately cost you more money. Luckily reducing your water usage requires very little effort. For example, you can opt for showers instead of baths and make sure you only do a wash when you have a full load. You can also buy a water-saving shower head - these usually work by mixing the water with air or lowering the flow rate of water.
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Anna Bibby, 19 February 2021