4 ways to go green in the lettings industry
With energy efficiency and climate change top of mind for many, here are just four ways the housing market can play its part to go green in 2023.
In 2019, the UK became the first major economy to pass laws to end its contribution to global warming by 2050. Energy in housing accounts for 14% of total UK emissions, according to the Committee on Climate Change. There’ll likely be a strong knock-on effect for rental energy standards to meet net zero goals, with raising the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards just the beginning.
The cost of living crisis exacerbated by sky-high energy bills only adds to the focus on how how we consume energy. Going green may require investment but there are opportunities to be had.
Offer a green energy supplier to tenants
Energy efficiency tops the agenda for many tenants. Renters said they'd be willing to pay a 13% premium for a low-carbon home, in a recent Legal and General survey.
Sixty-five percent of those asked why they'd buy or rent a green home said that they wanted to reduce their carbon footprint or help prevent climate change.
Your landlords can boost the appeal of their property for tenants, in line with their expectations, with the offer of a green energy or electricity supplier.
If you offer a utility switching service to change to this green provider, you’ll also make the tenant’s move less arduous so it’s an easy win to keep them happy - and hopefully in your landlord’s property for longer.
Some companies can even automate this service, to make the switch hassle free for everyone involved.
Encourage your landlords to upgrade their property's energy efficiency rating - and create a unique selling point
Landlords are already required to boost all tenancies from an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of F or G to at least E since 1 April 2020.
This involves spending up to a maximum of £3,500 towards improving rental properties, whether insulating the loft, roof or walls, upgrading the boiler, installing low-energy lighting, and so on.
If your landlords invest in updates, you’ll have the chance to create a unique selling point for the property as an energy-efficient rental.
Thirty-seven percent of tenants in the Legal and General survey prioritised the cost they'd save on energy as a reason for buying or renting a green home.
More tenants recognise the importance of reducing their energy consumption to reduce costs - and this trend is likely to continue, to help limit the risk of any future fluctuations in energy prices.
You and your landlord’s costs will also be reduced. Better insulation, for example, will mean less damp so less maintenance, happier tenants, and a higher house value; statistics show that house prices can grow up to 14% when improving energy efficiency ratings to A/B.
Be digital-first in your day to day
You can reduce your paper trail to give your business a green boost, and to create new ways to work more efficiently. This will translate to lower costs for you, and create a more streamlined process for both your landlords and tenants.
From e-signing, online payments and digitised documents to virtual tours, video conferencing and webinars - combining the different options available can minimise the number of physical documents and car trips you’ll need.
You’ll be saving time and reducing your carbon footprint.
Consider the extras that can help you make all the difference
A survey back in 2021 found where letting agents fall down in their eco-practices. Using green products, using a green energy supplier or smart energy meters, and checking energy ratings when buying new appliances are just some of the areas that agents could improve.
Agencies offering company cars should also consider a switch to an electric car, or encourage the use of public transport where feasible.
That same survey found that 66% thought that poor green credentials would harm their business, while 58% thought it would boost their profitability. Considering small ways to go green could make all the difference to your businesses' bottom line.