All around the UK, eco-friendly homes have increased in demand over the past year. This was mainly due to the fact that threats of the worsening climate crisis have become more apparent alongside the global pandemic. Natural disasters have become more intense and are occurring more frequently. Not to mention the fact that UK residents generate a considerable amount of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Green homes have begun to spring up in various parts of the country in an effort to reduce people’s environmental footprints at home. On the side of property managers, on the other hand, it essentially helps to significantly utility costs and draw in more tenants. Regardless of whether it’s for residential or business properties, making them more energy-efficient will prove to be a win-win situation.
Properties of Sustainability
Among the most prominent trends in property management for the year, being able to elevate renter experiences is one that professionals engaged in the UK real estate industry should take note of. Particularly in order to significantly improve the retention of tenants. This has become more relevant, especially as the number of renters in city centres has significantly dropped with residents choosing to move into less dense areas.
Additionally, property management teams should also be able to accommodate the changing renter preferences. In line with this, green homes and establishments are surely the type of properties most tenants are looking for at the moment. Here are some ways to make properties more sustainable for better profits and to attract more renters.
Before implementing any changes—both minor and major—to properties, it’s first important to have them properly assessed. To do so, simply secure an electrical inspection condition report (EICR) from a trusted service provider. This will allow property management teams to easily determine the quality of a property’s electrical installations.
Moreover, it will also provide them with a proper gauge to figure out which areas or items within the property need to be reworked. This is especially important if a property often consumes too much energy, which will be bad news for landlords and tenants alike. The first step towards energy efficiency is identifying what needs to be done and how certain features of the property can be improved upon.
Another proper way to be able to conveniently track a property’s energy consumption is through the installation of a smart meter. These devices will essentially provide a minute-by-minute reading of both gas and electricity consumption. As part of elevating a renter’s experience, this can also make them more aware of which activities play a role in drastically hiking up their utility bills.
The primary goal of installing smart meters is to also provide both landlords and tenants with an effective gauge on how to improve a property’s energy efficiency rating. Likewise, it can act as an avenue for property managers to be more transparent when it comes to establishing rent prices. This can effectively serve to create better relations between the two parties.
Up on the Roof
Now more than ever, the demand for more sophisticated outdoor spaces has also become evident. People have spent more than a year being cooped up indoors due to various government restrictions like national lockdowns and shelter-in-place measures. One way to address this through property management is by creating roof gardens on properties.
A living roof can provide tenants access to an outdoor space without necessarily having to go out of their way to look for a park or garden. This is especially relevant for residents who live in flats or for customers of commercial spaces simply looking for some fresh air.
Additionally, a roof garden can also make the areas beneath it warmer and more inviting while promoting biodiversity. The only trade-off is that a property should have sufficient strength to support this kind of feature since it will be much heavier compare to traditional roofing materials.
Harness the Sun
Finally, perhaps one of the most common avenues to make any property greener and more energy efficient is by integrating sustainable means of generating energy. Among these, solar panels have proven to be the best and most widely-used alternatives across the UK.
Not only will the installation of solar panels improve a property’s energy consumption, but it can significantly contribute to heating and lighting as well. Property management teams should definitely consider this if they haven’t already.
The Future Is Green
The biggest hindrance that property managers often face when it comes to transforming a property to be more energy efficient is the expenditures involved in accomplishing the shift. However, it should be noted that they could be entitled to a loan or grant to aid in creating more sustainable properties.
Certain local councils will often have schemes to promote green homes and establishments. Of course, eligibility will also vary depending on the location and circumstances. Moreover, the Government’s Green Homes Grant was also a popular scheme but it was closed on 31 March 2021. Nonetheless, other similar programs are sure to follow.
Ultimately, property management firms should strive to make their properties more energy-efficient. Essentially because of three things: (1) it’s a viable avenue to address the worsening climate crisis; (2) it caters to renter preferences which can also lead to better experiences; and (3) it proves to be more cost-effective in the long term.