Maximising the eco-potential of your property can save your tenants money on their bills and increase the value of your property – as well as being better for the environment.
There are a few key government initiatives that can help you do this, without breaking the bank.
1. Green Deal
This government scheme helps homeowners, tenants and landlords make improvements to their properties in order to save energy, with easy to manage financial options included. Any property that has an electric meter is eligible.
It’s worth remembering that both you and your tenant will need to agree to this scheme – as the property belongs to you but the tenant is likely paying the electricity bill.
A Green Deal Assessor will visit your property and help you decide what changes will benefit you and your tenants the most. These improvements could include:
- renewable energy
You can then either pay for the work yourself, up-front, or you can agree a payment plan with your tenant. The payment plan will constitute a loan, which will be payable by the tenant through their electricity bills. The amount of the repayments shouldn’t be more than the savings you’ll be expected to make on the bills as a result of the improvements.
Each new tenant in the property will take on responsibility for this loan, so it’s not the original tenant’s responsibility if they move out. You must therefore make sure to show an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), detailing the changes, to each new tenant before they move in.
2. Home Improvement Fund
For a limited time only there’s an added benefit to using the Green Deal, with £100m earmarked to go towards the price of making energy-efficient home improvements.
To qualify for the fund you must have already had a Green Deal assessment carried out within the last 2 years or have an Energy Performance Certificate that’s less than 2 years old, plus you must have agreed on the work to be done and received a quote from a Green Deal registered contractor.
You can then apply through the government to receive the following benefits:
- Offer 1: Set up two or more of 11 available home- improvements and receive up to £1,000 towards the cost.
- Offer 2: Install solid wall insulation and get up to £4,000 towards the cost – this equates to around 2/3 of the total price.
- Extra add-on 1: Take up any of the above two offers and receive an extra £500 if you’ve bought your house within the last 12 months.
- Extra add-on 2: Take up any of the above two offers and receive £100 back for your Green Deal Energy Assessment (needed to take the offers up in the first place).
However, you’ll need to be quick as this runs out very fast when it’s available. If you don’t make it this time – don’t worry. You can always have your Green Deal assessment done in the meantime and wait for this offer to roll around again.
3. Landlord’s Energy Saving Allowance
The Government’s also currently running an Energy Saving Allowance for landlords. You could claim a tax reduction of up to £1,500 for installing the following energy saving measures:
- solid wall insulation
- cavity loft insulation
- hot water system insulation
- floor insulation
The allowance is capped to £1,500 per property you own – so, if you own 4 flats in the same building, you could claim up to £6,000 if you make improvements to all of them.