We are a firm believer in undertaking eco-friendly improvements to our property portfolio in order to reduce our carbon footprint. We completely agree with the climate change act 2008, whereby reducing the UK's carbon emissions to 80% lower than 1990. In order to help achieve this we are launching a new campaign incorporating the following steps:
Energy Performance Certificates (EPC's)
An EPC is an energy rating in order to determine the energy efficiency of a building. A rating of A represents very efficient, while G inefficient. As importantly the EPC will provide details of how the efficiency can be improved. Such aspects as windows, insulation, heating etc are all taken into account.
Our aim is to achieve a rating of B or above on all properties.
There are various types of heating available, however, although more expensive to install we are considering all aspects of eco-friendly heating systems.
Having undertaken considerable research, we favour Air Source Heat Pumps, which in essence works on the same principle as a refrigerator. They link to the existing wet element of the heating system, so for instance existing radiators can be used and linked to the new system. Fuels such as gas and oil are no longer required, the main running costs are electricity, while maintenance is minimal, due to the lack of moving parts. Furthermore, the noise output is no more than that of a refrigerator, while the units can be free standing or hung on a wall, similar to air-conditioning units.
Air source heat pumps are very efficient and can save up to 75% on current heating bills, in addition to which there are government grants of up to £12000. AAS Investments and Consultancy Ltd are trialling this in a property in the South West and if successful will adapt this to several other properties.
Photovoltaic solar panels absorb sunlight as a source of energy to generate electricity. The panels are low maintance, having a life of between 20 to 25 years and can be used to generate electricity for general consumption or the heating of hot water.
Our new welcome packs have a dedicated section for the tenants on energy saving, smart meter replacement, recycling and other useful eco-friendly tips.