The best-value energy efficiency appliances to buy
Energy efficiency has been a hot topic for some time. Most householders have been only too happy to create an energy efficient home and to reap the rewards of warmer houses and lower utility bills. But some landlords have done little to improve the energy efficiency of their properties. If you are one of them, the time to act is now.
From 1 April 2018, privately rented properties will have to meet new energy efficiency standards or landlords will not be permitted to rent them to new tenants or to re-let to existing ones. Under the new minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES), properties will have to achieve a performance rating of E or better (unless exemptions apply). By 1 April 2020, all properties must be compliant.
Energy efficiency is win-win situation
The thought of greater regulation may be less than appealing. If you are a landlord, you will be looking to maximise the income you generate from your property, not to incur further expense. However, even if your rental property already meets the required standard, improving its energy efficiency could boost your income in the long run.
With utility bills on the rise, an energy efficient home is an attractive proposition for potential tenants. Any improvements you make should reduce the turnover of tenants and help to attract new tenants when you need them. Better still, your tenants will be less likely to fall into arrears or to default on their payments if their energy bills are reduced. By investing in energy efficiency, you could improve rather than reduce your yields.
The appliance of science
So, what can you do to improve the energy efficiency rating of your property? New energy efficient appliances are certainly a good place to start. Your tenants will appreciate new and reliable equipment, you will receive fewer calls requesting repairs and you won’t have to spend a great deal to help save it.
Technology marches on relentlessly, and so domestic appliances have become ever more efficient and sophisticated. Many are also cheaper today than they have ever been, in real terms. Larger appliances feature an energy efficiency label to help you make the right choice.
If you are looking to replace old appliances with more energy efficient models, it would make sense to start with the equipment which consumes the most energy. And that would be the washing machine and tumble dryer.
Washing machines and tumble dryers
A washing machine and tumble dryer can be responsible for up to 13% of energy consumption in the home. Keeping clothes and linens clean is an expensive pastime. An efficient washing machine will deliver savings on both electricity and water usage.
When choosing a new machine, it is important to remember that energy ratings are generally given to the various products based on their size category. The result is that two appliances with the same energy rating may use quite different amounts of electricity if one is larger than the other. It probably isn’t a good idea to choose a washing machine with a huge capacity.
Smaller tumble dryers are also cheaper to run than larger ones and will often have lower price tags. Gas tumble dryers are worth considering if you have a gas supply, as they are often cheap and more environmentally friendly but they are also more expensive to install. Electric heat pump tumble dryers are the most efficient as they recycle the heat from the ventilation tube back into the dryer.
Cookers and ovens
Both electric and gas ovens feature energy labels to help you select the right model. Ovens with a pyrolytic function will be more energy intensive. Whilst cookers and ovens don’t consume energy with quite the voracity of a tumble dryer, they do tend to be used more frequently. As with any appliance, the cheapest models may not represent the best value overall as you must factor-in reliability. Check the available reviews to gain a sense of which brands and models are most trustworthy.
Fridges and Freezers
Unlike most appliances, fridges and freezers are switched on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s definitely worth sourcing energy efficient models but their size will also contribute to their running costs. Your tenants will favour generous storage space so you will have to strike a balance between practicality and the potential energy savings. Fridges and freezers do have energy labels, and you will find their yearly consumption in kWh displayed at the bottom of these.
You may not have considered providing your tenants with a microwave, but this is something that you should think about. Microwaves are generally more energy efficient than other types of cookers and so are cheaper to run. They are also extremely convenient and could make your property more attractive to prospective tenants.
An energy efficient property is environmentally friendly, will help your tenants financially, and could help you to maximise your rental yields. While a larger appliance will be more expensive to replace than a kettle, it will result in greater energy savings. Going large will represent the best value overall.