From April 2018, landlords in the UK will need to comply with energy efficiency regulations before they can let their properties. By installing LED lighting, landlords can meet energy efficiency targets and reduce their costs.
For around 100 years, our homes were lit with tungsten incandescent bulbs. Although these bulbs provided consistent bright light, they were incredibly inefficient, wasting most of their energy through heat and producing high levels of carbon emissions or CO2. And for landlords, the high energy consumption of these bulbs meant high electricity costs, cutting the profits they made from renting out properties.
Energy efficiency standards and legal requirements
Since the year 2000, national and international regulations aimed at improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions have driven the need to look at new lighting technology. In the UK, the first major regulatory action came in 2009 when incandescent bulbs began to be phased out in favour of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and halogen incandescent lamps. But these too are wasteful in terms of the energy they use, and the use of toxic chemicals like mercury makes them harmful to the environment.
To address these issues, Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) come into force in the UK on 1st April 2018, and they will have a major impact on landlords and their ability to rent out their properties. After this date, it will be illegal for landlords to let properties with an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of F or G. And from 2023, all properties with an EPC, whether let or not, need to comply with the MEPS regulation.
This means that properties that fall below a minimum EPC rating of E would become impossible to market unless upgraded to meet the minimum energy efficiency standards. And it would also make it much more difficult to sell such properties.
How landlords can use LED to achieve energy efficiency
Landlords across the UK are realising that installing LED lighting is one of the quickest ways to comply with these new regulations. Not only do LED lights use a tenth of the energy of traditional lights (meaning reduced carbon emissions), they have a much longer lifespan. An average LED light bulb will last approximately 20,000 hours compared to 2,000 for a conventional bulb. And that means reduced replacement and maintenance costs for landlords.
LED is also the environmentally-friendly lighting choice, as it doesn’t contain harmful chemicals like mercury, as is found in traditional lights. You may have noticed that fluorescent or halogen lights attract bugs and insects, which are attracted by the flickering and ultra-violet and infra-red light of traditional lights. LED is flicker-free and emits very little UV or IF light, meaning you won’t have to worry about moths or flies buzzing around and bothering your tenants.
And by installing LED into your rented properties, your tenants will benefit from visually-appealing light, which will make them feel more comfortable. LED allows for targeted and subtle accent lighting, with a greater range of colour temperatures. As such, many property developers and building companies are beginning to install LED into newly-built homes as standard.
A checklist for landlords
Now is the time for landlords to assess their property portfolio ahead of the April 2018 deadline.
– Conduct a full review of your portfolio and assess the properties which have EPCs;
– Identify the properties which do not meet the proposed minimum EPC rating;
– Identify what is causing the poor EPC rating;
– Look at replacing energy-inefficient lighting or heating and assess costs;
– Check whether you are entitled to any ‘green’ funding or loans from the government to help with the costs.
– Browse our range of low-cost, energy-efficient LED lighting solutions and enjoy lower energy bills!