Many responsibilities come with being a landlord and oftentimes they are costly. From property management to repairs and maintenance, there’s a lot that can be a drain on your time and finances. And with the rising cost of living as well as gas and electricity prices, it’s no wonder landlords are looking for ways to save money.

Energy efficiency has become the popular new way to reduce outgoing bills while creating a home that is more comfortable all year round.

In this article we will be sharing our essential tips for creating an energy efficient rental property.

Ensure your property meets EPC rules for landlords

There is currently no minimum energy performance certificate (EPC) requirement for PRS properties in Scotland. However, the Scottish Government has set out a new proposal to help improve the energy efficiency of all homes in Scotland.

  • By 2028, private landlords must meet a new minimum energy efficiency standard (which we have covered further down in this post).
  • By a date in the future (yet to be determined), those purchasing a property must comply with the prohibition on polluting heating within a specified amount of time following completion of the sale (likely 2-5 years).
  • By the end of 2045, all building owners will need to have ended their use of polluting heating.

EPCs also recommend how you can improve the energy efficiency of your property to achieve a better rating whilst saving money on bills.

What is the minimum EPC rating for a rental property?

The Scottish Government intend on releasing a straightforward list of measures that all property owners can follow to meet the ‘minimum energy efficiency standard’. The consultation proposes that the list could include the following:

  • 270mm loft insulation.
  • Cavity wall insulation.
  • Draught-proofing.
  • Heating controls.
  • 80mm hot water cylinder insulation.
  • Suspended floor insulation.

For more information on the consultation paper visit to read the proposal for ‘Delivering Net Zero for Scotland’s Buildings’.

How to create an energy efficient property

There are many energy efficient upgrades you can make to your property in order to save money on your outgoings. Here are some of our top suggestions:

Install a smart meter

Nearly every UK household has a smart meter. These clever technologies save you money by measuring your gas and electricity usage. They are also a great way to assess the daily running costs of your rental property.

For example, you may discover the older appliances in your property are racking up your energy bills and that replacing the appliances with more up-to-date, efficient models might reduce your energy bills.

Smart meters are also a helpful tool to share with your tenants. Not only can they save you money, but they can also help your tenants understand how much energy they are using and where they might be able to reduce their consumption.

Replace light bulbs with LEDs

Energy efficient lighting will go a long way towards reducing your energy bills. Lighting is often one of those things that people overlook when making improvements to their property.

However, replacing your light bulbs with LEDs means your tenants are using less energy every time the lights are switched on. What’s more, LEDs last a lot longer than halogen bulbs. So, you won’t need to buy replacements very often (another cost saving).

According to a survey by Which?, traditional halogen light bulbs that see around three hours of daily use last two years on average, that’s 2,000 hours. In contrast, and under similar conditions, LEDs last 10,000 hours or more and keep going for 10 years or longer. So, a significant difference and great potential savings.

Invest in made-to-measure curtains

Heat loss is one of the biggest energy drains on UK properties, accounting for 25-30% of energy use. It keeps homes cold during the winter months and humid during the summer months. This often results in the radiators being turned up or air conditioning units running all day long, drastically increasing energy consumption and cost.

Investing in made to measure curtains is one of the best ways to mitigate heat loss and keep your property warm and comfortable all year round. With curtains that properly fit your windows, you will experience fewer draughts, reduced heat loss, and a warmer property.

Install double glazing

To really protect against heat loss, you should also look to install double glazing. This is a great solution for draughty properties that rack up high heating bills.

While a pricey initial investment, double glazing makes for an excellent money-saver in the long term. It will keep your property draught-free during the cold winter months and protect against heat loss, while reducing heat build-up inside the home during the summer months. Basically, whatever the weather your property will be at a more comfortable temperature.

This will stop your tenants reaching for the thermostat, therefore reducing their energy outgoings and making your property more energy efficient.

Buy an energy efficient boiler

Having an energy efficient boiler can make all the difference to your property’s outgoings, both in terms of energy usage and the costs associated with this.

The new A-rated boilers available today can slash your fuel bills and keep your heating on and water hot at a reduced cost. What’s more, they tend to be quieter and more compact. So, they can easily be stashed away in a cupboard out of sight.

If you haven’t done so already, exploring energy efficient boiler options is a great option when you’re looking to increase the energy efficiency of your rental property.

Final words

We hope the tips we’ve shared help you make energy-efficient changes to your property that benefit you for the long term, saving you money and increasing the comfort of your tenants.