Green Energy: Cost effective Energy for Holiday Lets
With domestic energy bills currently being a political hot potato, it seems like energy usage is a topic that has been on everyone’s lips at one point over the last few months. The prices of fulfilling basic human needs, such as heating homes comfortably, have become real concerns for many property owners.
Self-catered holiday lets are not exempt from these concerns; many are not after all big budget catered hotels which can afford to spend prohibitive amounts on gas and electricity. As a self-catered holiday let owner you want your guests to be comfortable in your property, but you also want to savvy about ensuring your energy costs are keep to a minimum. Energy costs are a natural expense of running a holiday let, but by implementing ways to save energy you’ll save money in the long run that can be used for other things, for example, updating your property or end of season maintenance.
Now, we’re not suggesting that you rush out and buy expensive loft insulation or solar panels, though those are excellent ways to save money in the long run. However, if you have some spare time when next looking at your property maintenance, you might want to explore the idea of using one of the low cost energy saving apps that have become so popular in the market over the last 12 months. Some of these apps offer you intuitive, customisable control of your heating and electrical appliances from the comfort of your mobile or tablet. Some of our personal favourite include:
British Gas offers Hive Active Heating, which replaces your existing controllers with a wireless system and connection to your broadband.
Once you have had it installed by a British Gas installer, you will be able to control heating and hot water using the free iOS or Android app as well as via the website so if you want to check the temperature at home and increase it from wherever you are. You can set alerts to let you know when your house has changed temperature but the system comes with a modern-looking thermostat that you can use to change your settings or set schedules within a property so you don’t always need to use your smart device.
The Hive system is not dependent on British Gas supplying your energy either so you can still buy it even if you have a different supplier.
Heat Genuis allows you to control your heating from anywhere using your mobile, laptop or tablet and it will learn when you use your rooms and what your schedule is to turn your heating on when you need it.
Each room can be controlled separately and you can set up each room to only warm up to the temperature you want it, plus you can also schedule your hot water using the app.
Additionally, Heat Genius offers smart plugs so you can turn your electronic devices on or off using the app and it has plans to bring underfloor heating control too.
There are four modes including Off, Timer, Footprint and Override. The Timer option offers a weekly timer that gives you full control of when the heating is on, in which room, and to what temperature, while the Footprint mode turns your heating on or off based on when you were previously in a room using information from the Heat Genius motion sensor.
Honeywell’s Evohome is wireless-connected heating system which will let you control individual radiators and therefore specific rooms. It connects to your boiler along with your existing radiators and you will be able to control the entire heating system through a central console or smartphone app.
Evohome allows you to control up to 12 zones and within those zones you can also control each radiator down to a set degree in temperature, but if you want the same temperature throughout the entire house, you can do this too.
There are many others to choose from on the market ranging from affordable to expensive depending on their capabilities. The three are excellent ones to consider to start with because of their ease of use and flexibility. Consider the benefits: you could control the heating before your guests arrive, ensuring their comfort, without having to enter the property; if you wish, you can share access to the app with your guests and give them the option of controlling heating and hot water to ensure everything is perfect for when they return from their adventures; when your property is empty you can ensure that mould and damp is keep at bay by ensuring the proper, regular heating of the property; you can monitor energy usage and better understand where your costs are coming from and how to keep them down; it helps to comply with the governmental and national trend toward green energy usage; and finally, it has been consistently proven over the last five years that energy saving measures can increase house prices.
It is certainly something worth considering. These apps require minimal effort and provide you with a way to both please your guests in a crowded market and to make your property more cost efficient in the long run. A win-win situation for minimal outlay.
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