Do you own a rental property? Whether you have long-term tenants, or are renting your property by the week to holidaymakers, our independent heating consultants can help you establish how best to cut your energy bills and improve the heating arrangements.
Our clients owned 3 ground floor apartments in a barn conversion in a rural location near Keswick. The larger flat had two bedrooms, the 2 smaller ones were both one bedroom flats. As there was no mains gas in the village, all of the properties were heated electrically, and the utility bills were descibed by our clients as ‘horrendous’.
Our clients were currently letting the properties on a monthly basis through an estate agent. So while they were concerned about their high energy usage, the bills were not affecting their financial returns. However in the longer term they planned to retire to live in the largest flat, and in the meantime they wanted to carry out improvement works to enable them to begin renting the 3 flats as holiday lets.
Our clients recognised that the flats needed work, including new heating systems. They were also keen to ensure their holiday guests would be as warm as possible and would be able to control the heating easily for their stay in the Lakes. As the heating bills would now be paid by our clients, they were also keen to reduce their future energy bills so they would not be eating into the holiday rental profits.
Our role was to look at the building’s construction and to suggest any possible improvements that could be made to boost the energy performance of the flats. We would then review the properties’ existing heating arrangements and suggest how they could make improvements to meet thieir tenants’ needs within their budget.
Although our client’s properties were 300 miles away, we were able to carry out all of our work remotely. This was done using our clients hand drawn plans and photos, as well as our client providing us with video footage while visiting the properties.
Our heating consultant Rob Bohm started by carrying out a survey of the property and looked through the information they sent to us, before calling our clients to talk through our initial thoughts and proposals. Once a general heating system approach was agreed with them, Rob then sent them more detailed recommendations.
Before we consider the heating arrangements for a property, we always look at any potential thermal improvements that can be made. In this case the flats all had good quality double glazing and were fortunate in that they were being kept warm by the flats to either side and above. We found there was only a small area of external wall that could be improved by adding insulation, and we suggested that this could be achieved prior to the redecoration works.
The main energy performance issue for the flats was that the rooms had suspended ventilated timber floors. This was having a significant negative effect on the energy efficiency of the flats and so we suggested that these floors should be insulated.This can be done via two main methods – either by fitting insulation with expanding foam between the existing joists or by spraying foam from underneath via a remotely operated machine.
The flat was currently heated by wall mounted electric heaters, and the hot water was provided by an instantaneous supply via an economy 7 thermal store. Due to there being no natural gas, as well as the location and type of building, the heating options were rather limited. After having talked through the pros and cons of other systems we suggested that the best option would be to fit air source heat pumps which could heat the properties and provide hot water. They could heat the property via new low temperature radiators, or preferably via underfloor heating with a thermostat in every room, which could be installed while insulating the floors. The existing hot water tank would also need to be replaced with a new heat pump compatible unvented hot water tank which would give a good supply and pressure.
Although renewable technologies tend to be expensive we talked to our clients about the money available via the Renewable Heat Incentive. This government run scheme is designed to reduce the difference between fitting heat pumps versus other forms of heating and helps make the cost of such installations viable. It gives seven years of payments to assist with this and the current scheme runs until April 2022.
By being proactive and getting independent energy and heating consultancy early on in the process our clients were able to make the most informed decisons and integrate our advice into their improvement plans. We are sure their newly refurbished flats will be very popular with their guests and wish them well with their new holiday business!
CLPM Services used by our client:-
Energy and Heating Consultancy carried out remotely.
High utility bills can be a major barrier to maximising your occupancy for rental properties in rural locations.
Tackling energy efficiency issues and installing more effective heating arrangements can make all the difference. CLPM are 100% independent of suppliers and installers. All the advice we give is in your best interests.