With the current hikes in energy prices in the UK, we put together a few recommendations for our property partners to help keep energy bills down in the Serviced Accommodation properties that we manage on their behalf.
You will be well aware that energy prices are soaring at the moment and as a Serviced Accommodation owner, this has the potential to take a nasty chunk out of your profits.
The increase in gas bills alone for the average UK household is expected to be £629/year with this initial change to the price cap. Further increases of £694/year are expected towards the end of 2022.
While totally avoiding an increases is not possible, there are ways we can work together to minimise the impact to your profits.
Below we have a couple of recommendations for you. We would like to point out that we are not advertising these products and have no affiliation. These are honest recommendations based on our own research.
With traditional boilers/thermostat systems it is incredibly difficult to get guests to work with you to keep these bills down, especially when they have full control of the heating systems during their stay. You would be shocked at the amount of times our cleaners arrive at a property to find the heating on full blast and the windows wide open.
One of the best tools at our disposal are smart thermostats.
Most Smart Thermostats enable landlords to control the temperature of their rental properties or SA’s remotely via WiFi. This helps to ensure
Following ample research into to the leading products (e.g. Nest, Hive, Tado etc.) we have concluded that Inspire Smart Thermostats will be the most effective option for our property partners and most other landlords out there.
For a Smart Thermostat to be effective for the properties we look after, we set the following criteria:
✓ Temperature limits
✓ WiFi Controlled
✓ Syncs with CRM
✓ Multiple properties under one account
Following hours of research into to the leading products (e.g. Nest, Hive, Tado etc.) we have concluded that Inspire Smart Thermostats will be the most effective option for our property partners and most other landlords out there.
From our research, Inspire Smart Thermostats appear to be the most reliable product that provides all of the above.
Inspire gives guests the ability to adjust temperature, but limits them to within a fixed range.
We are able to control the range and temperature remotely as the system is connected to the WiFi.
Using an iCal integration, we are able to connect Inspire to our Channel Manager (central booking system). This enables us to automatically reduce the central heating when the properties are not occupied.
Finally, the dashboard is designed with landlords and property managers in mind. Most other smart thermostat systems are designed around individual homeowners and require new accounts for each property/system. Inspire allows us to manage all properties within one dashboard.
The smart thermostats will help keep the usage down, but how about the actual price of the energy being used?
While all utility providers have pushed their prices up, some have done so more than others. Again, we have put quite a few hours into researching this topic and finding the cheapest supplier currently available.
The best deals are available when you bundle all of your utilities together with one supplier.
We have concluded that Utility Warehouse is our cheapest option and will likely be the cheapest option for most of our partners and landlords.
Utility Warehouse were found to be the cheapest energy provider in the UK when gas, electricity and broadband were bundled together. We are now in the process of moving all of our own in-house properties to Utility Warehouse.
However we thought it would be worth pointing out that we have found their customer services to be painfully slow. I imagine this is in large part due to all of the changes going on with the energy market at the moment, but I still felt it was important to make you aware. Be prepared to listen to hours of hold music.
Our third and final tip for our partners and other Serviced Accommodation landlords is to check your EPC for recommendations on how to increase the efficiency of your properties
In the past, maybe some of these recommendations did not seem worth the costs of installation, however it is likely your return on investment from making these upgrades will have changed.
We recommend looking through the EPC for your property and seriously considering all of the possible improvements.
When looking at the “typical yearly savings” part, please remember these were estimated at the point of certification. These will be significantly higher now due to the current energy market.
Disclaimer: Truestays is not rot responsible for any action taken off the back of reading this article. Please conduct your own research before making any decisions. Thank you