Winter is coming! And with it comes increased energy consumption from
guests cranking up the heating and flicking on the switches to light up those
darker evenings and mornings.
One of the major overheads to running a holiday let is utility bills, whether
your property is occupied or not. But what can you do to ensure your bills stay
low during the colder winter months whilst keeping your emissions low in the
fight against climate change?
Unfortunately, energy usage is one area of cost that is not entirely in your
control, especially given the fact that guests can be over generous with the
thermostat when they aren’t paying directly for the bill. However, there are
ways to minimise your energy costs that won’t quite resort to you chaperoning
your guests during their stay!
Let’s have a look at our quick fix tips to get you started:
Invest in warmer duvets for the colder months (13.5 tog and upwards)
Install a smart thermostat and turn off in between stays
Boost heating 1hr before check-in so the property is warm when guests arrive encouraging them not to feel the need to put the heating on straight away
Set heating limits on smart thermostats
Create prompts around the property reminding guests of the high energy costs and to be respectful of the environment
Look at log burners as an option for your property
Ask guests to use timers on dishwashers and washing machines so they come on during the night when electricity is often cheaper
Invest in thermal curtain liners which can be easily clipped behind curtains
Add curtains or draught excluders to doors
Purchase throws and blankets for sofas and beds
Fit some thermal roller blinds for kitchens, bathrooms …any room really.They roll up nicely to the top of window so when open let in lots of light.
Ensure you boiler is on the correct setting
Where necessary radiators should be bled
Ensure you have LED bulbs throughout your properties and where possible solar lights (solar lights are great for gardens and pathways.)
While not very glamours, foil behind radiators and insulation behind cupboards that go to external walls will retain some heat.
Hopefully you will have already implemented some of these savvy money and
energy changing hacks in your holiday let, but what about longer term
solutions? These may be a more costly option, but the overall savings could be
Become energy efficient:
Firstly, you’ll want to assess what energy tariff you are currently on to ensure
you have best possible package for your property, this may even mean
changing energy supplier. Another cost-friendly way to make some long-term
savings is to upgrade to LED bulbs, fitting thermal curtains and installing a
smart thermostat, all of which will help shave money off your annual bill.
Switching to motion sensors for your lighting and investing in appliances with a
high energy efficiency rating can give you confidence that no matter who is
occupying your home your energy use will not skyrocket.
A more costly solution that would bring larger savings would be investing in
solar panels which may even allow you to generate additional energy which
you can then sell back to the grid to generate additional income. Of course,
this would only be a viable option for properties where there are long periods
of sunlight. The Energy Saving Trust has calculated that 25% of heat can be lost
through the roof with more than double lost through walls of your property.
Having new cavity wall insulation or new double glazing are other more costly
options to help retain heat but would hopefully pay for themselves within a
Considering the effectiveness of your existing heating system can also be
helpful. If you have an old boiler, you may want to consider upgrading to a
new, high energy rating combi boiler. It is also important to get an annual
boiler service carried out as this can improve the efficiency of your boiler by
Take control of your heating
Installing a smart thermostat is a great way to save money on your heating
bills. Most of us have heard of ‘Hive’ and ‘Google Nest’ but there are many
other options on the market. Their main purpose is to help you control and
monitor your energy use in your property. The vast majority of them can be
controlled via your mobile phone which is especially helpful when you can’t
always be at the property. Many have advanced features like auto learning,
where the device will monitor your heating and automatically adjust and sync
your heating with your behaviour or holiday mode where a pre-set
temperature can be maintained for a set duration of time.
Manage guest’s behaviour
Helpfully, minimising your energy costs conceptually sits well with encouraging
your guests to do their bit for the environment whilst away on holiday. As such
encourage your guests to be energy aware by creating prompts around the
property reminding them of the high energy costs and to be respectful of the
environment. A friendly note or two in the property information folder or
guest book can also really help.
Another idea is to install smart home technology. It can add a sophisticated
feature to the guest experience which can be controlled by you. These clever
systems can manage heating, lighting, audio-visual entertainment, security, the
list goes on….and when all set up correctly are impressive. When you know the
house is empty during free weeks you can remotely put the house into
shutdown, and everything just switches off!