Decarbonizing the building industry has been a big art of the COP26 Summit being held in Glasgow. According to the Building to COP26 website, buildings are responsible for 40% of global energy-related carbon emissions.
Link: Building To COP26 – For a Zero Emissions and Resilient Built Environment, Regions & Cities
So how can landlords and tenants do their part in our green goals? How do we begin to reduce our carbon footprint at home? And are there ways that improve energy efficiency that are cost effective or don’t drastically change our lifestyle?
We explore these questions below from both sides of the letting industry, as tenants and as landlords.
How Tenants can Improve their Energy Efficiency
- Keep your thermostat at 19C.
- Close your curtains from dusk till dawn.
- Plug any leaky gaps around windows and doors with strip insulation.
- Have your boiler serviced regularly and install a new one if old and inefficient.
It should be noted that, though it may seem counter intuitive, you should open your windows for a few hours every day in winter. Opening windows has many benefits such as:
- Keeps the property well ventilated which will keep mold away.
- Ensures that the house is not being overheated which could have adverse effects on your heating system, vinyl flooring and internal humidity.
How Landlords can Improve their Energy Efficiency
Cost effective methods for landlords to improve their energy efficiency and decrease the amount of carbon emissions that are produced by their investment property.
- Consider fitting an insulating jacket to your hot water tank – according to the Energy Savings Trust a good quality covering will cut heat costs by more than 75%.
- Consider fitting a thermostat to your hot water tank. This stops your boiler from supplying heat to the tank once it reaches an optimal temperature.
- Add roof insulation up to 27cm in your loft.
- Fit cavity wall insulation or solid wall insulation if your house is over 100 years old.
- Replace your light bulbs with low energy bulbs.
- Use thermostat radiator valves to keep empty rooms or bedrooms at a lower temperature.
- Draft proofing your windows and doors.
For further advice on how you can improve the Energy Rating of your property please see the following link to British Gas, 3 Next-Level Ways to Get Your Home to Net Zero.
Link: 3 next-level ways to get your home to net zero – British Gas
Grants and Subsidies for Going Green in Scotland and the UK
Citizens Advice Scotland provides a well informed guide of identifying what specific improvements would be needed for your particular property. As well as the types of Grants that are available for energy efficiency improvements.
Link: Funding for energy efficiency in homes – Citizens Advice Scotland
To see if you are eligible for a grant by the Scottish Government you can visit the following government websites and see if you qualify.
Link: Grants and loans for energy efficiency – mygov.scot
Link: Find energy grants and ways to save energy in your home – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
The following link provides a list of Eco Suppliers that are supporting energy efficiency improvements in low income and vulnerable households in the form of insulation or heating.
Link: ECO Suppliers — Simple Energy Advice