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Climate change is an issue we’re all hearing a lot about for very good reason. Finding ways to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions to help slow down the impact on our planet is at the forefront of a lot of people’s minds. From electric cars, and reusable cups, to eco houses and businesses, there’s a forward drive for it all. So it’ll come as no surprise that the government are looking into how energy efficient houses are, and what can be done to make them better for the environment – especially in the rental sector. 

Since 2018, landlords are required to make sure properties to new, renewed and extended tenancies meet an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) of at least E, however a new bill has been introduced to raise that minimum to a C. With rental property making up a significant proportion of the housing sector, it’s no wonder the government are seeing it as a crucial part of driving towards a carbon neutral UK by 2030.

Not only will this plan benefit the planet due to the massive reduction in emissions, but it will also provide some significant benefits to both tenants and landlords.

These include: 

  • Lowering bills (including energy bills)
  • Ensure warmer homes for tenants especially the vulnerable in the colder months
  • Supporting jobs by providing work for the industries carrying out the work required
  • Increase the quality, desirability and therefore the value of the property
  • Provide better energy security from lower demand on the grid and reduced fuel imports

Ways to improve the energy efficiency of a property

Some ways that a property can be made more energy efficient include:  

Insulate your loft space – Make sure your loft is properly insulated with thick padding. This can help trap heat in the winter lowering your heating bill dramatically. 

Upgrade the boiler – Boilers account for 60% of the carbon emissions in gas heated homes so checking what kind of boiler you have could be an easy way to make the property more energy efficient. Boilers are rated on the EPC scale from A-G so picking one from the lower end of the scale could make a world of difference! 

Water Saving Shower head – Power showers can pump out more water in 5 minutes than having a bath, so installing a water saving shower head may be a good step to a more eco friendly house. 

Double or Triple Glazing – Possibly one of the most obvious ways to help make a house more efficient is by making sure the double or even triple glazing and doors are installed properly and that there are no gaps or broken seals. 

Solar Panels – If possible an alternative power source like solar panels can help make the property more energy efficient by using a renewable source to help power some appliances. 

Cavity Wall Insulation – Heat (and therefore energy) can be lost from walls that aren’t insulated. Although sometimes costly, the insulation can save wasted energy, and a lot of money in the long run! 

The government have a plan that by 2030 the UK will be net carbon zero (a balance between the emissions given off and those taken out of the atmosphere) and so reducing the emissions of homes will play a key role in meeting this goal.

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