How to capitalise on the demand for energy-efficient rentals

05.04.2024 9 min read

In today’s rental market, the demand for energy-efficient rentals is on the rise. Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword—it’s a growing priority for tenants and landlords alike. Energy-efficient properties are not only beneficial for the environment but also increasingly attractive to prospective renters. At Hammock, the accounting platform for landlords, we recognise the significance of this trend and the opportunity it presents. Embracing energy efficiency can enhance your property’s appeal, reduce operational costs, and contribute to a more sustainable future. This post explores the rising demand for energy-efficient rentals and offers practical advice on how landlords can capitalise on this trend.

The growing appeal of energy-efficient rentals

Sustainability concerns are driving more renters to seek out energy-efficient living spaces. These properties often promise lower utility bills, a smaller carbon footprint, and a more comfortable living environment. Additionally, as government regulations evolve to emphasise energy conservation, properties that meet or exceed these standards can enjoy a competitive advantage in the market.

Practical tips for enhancing energy efficiency

Conduct an energy audit

Conducting an energy audit is a critical first step in enhancing the energy efficiency of your rental properties. This comprehensive assessment serves as a roadmap to improving a property’s energy use, outlining where and how energy is being lost and what measures can be taken to reduce consumption. For landlords in the UK, understanding the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of your property is equally crucial. The EPC rates a property’s energy efficiency from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and includes recommendations for improving its energy performance.

💡 You’ll find the EPC data for each of your rental properties in your Hammock account

An energy audit can directly influence your property’s EPC rating by identifying key areas for improvement. For example, the audit might reveal that upgrading to double-glazed windows or adding loft insulation could significantly enhance the property’s thermal efficiency, thereby improving its EPC rating. A higher EPC rating not only makes your property more attractive to environmentally conscious tenants but can also increase its market value and rental price. Moreover, with the UK government’s increasing focus on environmental standards, properties with higher EPC ratings may benefit from incentives and are less likely to face compliance issues with future regulations aimed at reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions.

EPC Ratings and Mortgage Considerations

An increasingly important aspect in the realm of property investments is the consideration of Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ratings by lenders when evaluating mortgage applications. As the financial sector begins to place a greater emphasis on sustainability and environmental impact, many lenders are now incorporating EPC ratings into their lending criteria. Properties with higher EPC ratings, which signify greater energy efficiency, are often viewed as lower-risk investments. This is because they are likely to be more appealing to tenants and potentially command higher rents, leading to a more secure income stream for repaying a mortgage. Furthermore, as regulations around energy efficiency become stricter, properties with better EPC ratings are less likely to require costly upgrades in the near future, making them more financially stable investments. For landlords, this means that improving your property’s EPC rating can not only enhance its appeal and reduce operational costs but also impact your ability to secure favourable mortgage terms. Therefore, investing in energy efficiency is becoming a critical consideration not just for property marketability and compliance, but also for financing strategies, underlining the multifaceted value of higher EPC ratings in today’s property investment landscape.

Upgrade to energy-efficient appliances

Upgrading to energy-efficient appliances is an impactful strategy for landlords aiming to enhance the appeal of their properties, minimise energy consumption, and align with the growing trend towards sustainability. Opting for appliances with high Energy Star ratings—a trusted symbol for energy efficiency—can lead to considerable reductions in electricity usage. This approach is beneficial not just from an environmental standpoint but also economically, as it can significantly lower utility bills for tenants, making the property more attractive in a competitive rental market.

Moreover, investing in energy-efficient appliances can also be a wise long-term financial decision for landlords. Although the initial purchase cost might be higher than that of standard appliances, the long-term savings in energy costs can offset the initial investment. This is particularly relevant in times of rising energy prices, where efficiency savings can accumulate to substantial amounts.

Landlords should also consider the lifespan and durability of energy-efficient appliances, as these are often designed to last longer and come with warranties or guarantees that provide peace of mind and reduce long-term maintenance and replacement costs.

Improve insulation and seal leaks

Improving insulation and sealing leaks in your rental properties are cost-effective ways to enhance energy efficiency and tenant comfort. These upgrades not only contribute to a warmer, more energy-efficient home during the winter months but also help keep properties cooler in the summer, reducing the need for artificial cooling. Implementing such improvements can significantly impact your property’s energy consumption and, consequently, its Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating—a key factor in the property’s marketability and compliance with environmental standards.

When considering insulation and leak-sealing projects, it’s important to recognise that some improvements may offer more tax efficiency than others. For example, certain energy-saving enhancements may qualify for tax credits or deductions, potentially reducing the overall cost of the investment. In the UK, landlords might explore schemes like the Landlord’s Energy Saving Allowance (LESA), which previously allowed deductions for specific energy efficiency investments, although the current availability of such schemes can vary and may be subject to change. The Green Homes Grant was another initiative offering vouchers for energy-saving home improvements, demonstrating the government’s support for energy efficiency in residential properties.

Moreover, the value of these improvements extends beyond immediate energy savings; they can also increase property values and attract a broader pool of prospective tenants looking for sustainable living options. However, navigating the complexities of tax incentives and understanding which improvements offer the best return on investment can be challenging.

👉 Consult with an accountant

Given the potential tax implications of making energy-efficient upgrades, we strongly recommend discussing your options with a professional accountant who specialises in property investment. An accountant can provide tailored advice on maximizing the tax efficiency of your investments, ensuring you benefit from available incentives and accurately report any allowable expenses. They can also offer insights into how different improvements may impact your financial statements and tax liabilities, helping you make informed decisions that align with your long-term investment strategy.

Hammock can assist in preparing for these consultations by organizing your financial data, making it easier to assess the potential benefits of different energy-saving improvements. By leveraging Hammock’s tools to track expenses and monitor your portfolio’s financial performance, you can enter discussions with your accountant armed with accurate and comprehensive financial insights. This preparation enables a more productive dialogue on how to strategically invest in insulation and leak-sealing projects, enhancing both the environmental sustainability and financial health of your rental properties.

💡 You can invite your accountant to your Hammock account to share insights into your rental income and expenses in real-time

Install smart thermostats

Installing smart thermostats in your rental properties can significantly enhance energy efficiency and tenant satisfaction. These devices allow for precise control over heating and cooling systems, often leading to substantial reductions in energy usage and utility costs. To successfully implement smart thermostats and maximise their benefits, consider the following steps:

  1. Choose the right smart thermostat: Research and select a smart thermostat that is compatible with your property’s heating and cooling system. Look for features that matter most to your tenants, such as ease of use, compatibility with smartphones or smart home systems, and the ability to learn tenants’ schedules and adjust temperatures accordingly.
  2. Professional installation: Although some smart thermostats are designed for DIY installation, hiring a professional can ensure that the device is correctly installed and fully integrated with your existing HVAC system. This can help avoid any issues that might arise from improper installation, such as inefficiencies or damage to your heating and cooling system.
  3. Educate your tenants: Upon installation, provide your tenants with a demonstration or access to resources on how to use the smart thermostat effectively. Emphasise the benefits, such as the ability to adjust settings remotely, program temperature schedules, and save on energy bills. Ensuring that tenants are comfortable using the thermostat will maximise its energy-saving potential.
  4. Promote energy savings: Encourage tenants to take full advantage of the smart thermostat’s features for energy savings. This can include setting eco-friendly temperatures when the property is unoccupied and utilising energy reports (many smart thermostats offer monthly energy usage reports) to understand and reduce their consumption.
  5. Monitor and maintain: Regularly check in with your tenants to ensure the smart thermostat is functioning correctly and being used to its full potential. Address any technical issues promptly to avoid disruptions in its energy-saving capabilities. Additionally, keep the thermostat’s firmware updated to ensure it benefits from the latest energy-saving features and security updates.

Utilise renewable energy sources

Investing in renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, can significantly reduce a property’s carbon footprint and attract tenants looking to live sustainably. While the upfront cost can be considerable, the long-term savings on energy bills and the positive impact on the environment make this a worthwhile investment.

Communicate your green initiatives

Effectively marketing your property’s energy-efficient features can significantly enhance its attractiveness to potential tenants. Emphasise the lower utility costs, increased comfort, and environmental benefits in your listings to appeal to the growing demographic of eco-conscious renters.


The demand for energy-efficient rentals is a clear indicator of the market’s shift towards sustainability. By investing in energy audits, upgrading appliances, improving insulation, and exploring renewable energy options, landlords can not only increase their property’s appeal and profitability but also contribute to a more sustainable future. Hammock supports landlords in this transition, offering tools and insights for financial management and strategic planning. In embracing green initiatives, landlords can ensure their properties remain competitive and desirable in today’s evolving rental landscape.

How Hammock helps capitalise on the demand for energy-efficient rentals

Tracking and planning: Hammock allows landlords to meticulously plan and track the financial aspects of energy audits and subsequent improvements. By organizing these expenses within our platform, you can maintain a clear view of your investments towards improving your property’s EPC rating.

Budgeting for upgrades: Our platform helps you budget for necessary upgrades identified during the energy audit. Whether it’s installing more efficient heating systems or improving insulation, Hammock enables you to allocate funds wisely, ensuring that your investments are both sustainable and financially sound.

Analyzing return on investment: Hammock’s financial reporting tools can help you analyse the return on investment of enhancing your property’s energy efficiency. By comparing utility costs before and after implementing energy-saving measures, you can quantify the savings achieved.

Storing document: Keep all your property’s energy audit reports organised and easily accessible within Hammock.

By monitoring their rental income and expenses in Hammock alongside conducting thorough energy audits and focusing on improving EPC ratings, landlords can make informed decisions that boost the energy efficiency, tenant appeal, and overall value of their rental properties.

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