Honourable and personal residential letting experts

3Aug

Energy bills are on everyone’s mind – how could you help your tenant?

A recent article in Which? pointed to several ways that we could use technology to help cut bills. Why? Because energy is likely to be costing us more than ever before. To help keep a handle on your tenant’s energy bills we shall be giving advice on how to make efficiencies with what is already in place and tips on how they can save money,

Here we share the energy bill tips we are going to pass to your tenants.

Understand your bills

Understanding your energy bills and how much it’s costing you to use your household appliances is important if you’re trying to make meaningful savings. The main thing is to understand what you are using and how much it costs. So start with your meter readings and use apps available to give you an idea where your main usage lies. Knowing this will help to show you where you can cut down on energy usage.

Look out for energy-saving apps

These will be dependent on what your energy company uses and will give you detailed information about your usage.

Smart plugs

Some of these have built-in energy monitoring features which will allow you to see how much power your devices are using. You will be shocked to see how many kilowatts your kettle uses. The cost can be as little as £5.

Energy Cost Calculator

This is a simple app designed to give you a clear understanding of exactly how much energy your products use. Enter the energy consumption of the appliance in kWh (this should be on its packaging or specs that you can find online), how many hours you run it for and how much your electricity costs per kWh. The app will then generate a cost per usage by day, month or year, along with the CO2 emissions produced by the item. It’s available for iOS and Android.

Once you understand where your money is going, it is easier to understand the changes you need to make to cut your bills.

Here are our top 7 tips to help you change your daily habits

  1. Switch off all devices on standby
  2. Use eco settings where you have them
  3. Review what energy you use in the kitchen – can you batch cook?
  4. Reducing by one washing load a week will make 10% saving on your bill (figures- which.co.uk) and make sure the washing machine is full.
  5. Consider reviewing your tariff. Could you now fix an energy deal
  6. Turn your heating down by one degree can reduce bills by 10% (figures- Energy Savings Trust)
  7. It might sound obvious but setting a timer for things like showers and dishwashing can really help you understand how long you’re using your hot water for. You could challenge yourself to keep your showers under five minutes or to only run the hot water tap for a set amount of time while washing-up – good for the planet as well as your bills. You’ll find dedicated ‘shower timer’ apps out there, but a standard smartphone stopwatch will work just as well.

How you as landlord could help

Installing Smart Thermostats

They give close control over the temperature of a home, whether someone is in or not and can be used to turn heating off or down remotely using a smartphone. They can also be programmed quite precisely to suit a particular schedule so that central heating is only used when needed. Popular smart thermostat brands include Google (which owns Nest), Hive, Netatmo and Tado, but there are many others on the market. Prices vary considerably, and they do need to be installed by a qualified individual.

Installing smart radiator valves

Also called smart radiator thermostat, they give precise control over your radiators. Through the smart thermostat, they can be used to set different schedules for different parts of the home.

For example, your tenant might want the radiator in the living room to turn on when they come home from work, their bedroom to stay cold until later in the evening, and the kitchen to warm up in the morning. You need to make sure that everything does talk to each other, so it is best deciding on what you want to do first.

Thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs )

These give your tenant better control over their heating with a less digital approach.

So what are you next steps?

For our managed landlords, we have qualified contractors who can help with smart thermometers and TRVs, so if you are with us, we can do it all for you!