As the owner of a student property, considering energy efficiency can make sound financial and environmental sense and provide a healthy environment for student tenants. Apart from saving fuel costs, the advantages of implementing energy efficiency include:
Reduced condensation and mould growth
x Reduced maintenance and redecoration costs for the student landlord.
x An increased asset to the value of the student property.
x An enhanced appeal of property to student tenants. Properties will feel warmer to existing student tenants and when viewed by prospective tenants.
x Reduced tenant complaints and therefore, management costs. The property will be easier to heat and more comfortable to live in.
x Improved risk assessment under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).
x Improved Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating. The EPC provides details to prospective student tenants on how energy efficient the student property is. Since 1 October 2008, it has been a legal requirement to obtain and provide EPCs for a rented property that is self-contained, e.g. a family house/flat, shared house/flat with one tenancy agreement. The certificate lasts for 10 years.
Ways to make your property more energy efficient
x Choose systems and controls that can be operated economically to meet the demand for heat when required, condensing boilers are a particularly efficient option.
x Select the options most suited to the occupants of the building – the options range from individual heat sources in each bed-sitting room to zoned central heating for large mixed-use buildings.
x Fit a thermostat to control water storage temperature.
x Suit the system to the size of the building and the number of occupants.
Lighting and Electrical Appliances
x Use low energy lamps – best suited to areas where lights are often left on for long periods.
x Install energy-efficient narrow tube fluorescent lighting to ensure shadow-free illumination in kitchens.
x Use household appliances with an “Energy Efficiency Recommended” label.
x Ensure that ventilation is controllable.
x Install ventilation systems in kitchens and bathrooms.
x Ensure adequate natural background ventilation – specify trickle ventilators when replacing windows. Endure that there is adequate air supply to open-flued combustion appliances.
x Where background ventilation and air supply to combustion appliances is adequate, seal external windows and doors to avoid uncontrolled draughts.
Insulation and Draught proofing
Walls, floors, lofts can be insulated to ensure that most of the heat generated stays in the house. Consider double glazed windows and doors that offer better insulation. Draught proof windows and doors to prevent unnecessary loss of heat