There are over 48 million rental homes and apartments in the United States. If you are looking for a way to invest your money, then buying rental properties is a great idea. Over the past few years, more and more consumers have opted to rent their living space instead of buying a home. This means that the rental home and apartment market is booming.
One of the biggest concerns you should have when trying to manage a rental property adequately is developing an electricity usage budget. Finding out how much it costs to power a particular unit is essential when trying to maximize profits. Using websites like energybot.com is imperative when trying to figure out whether you are getting the best possible deal on electricity for your rental properties.
The following are some tips on how to calculate energy costs and what you can do to make your rental properties more energy-efficient.
Calculating Electricity Costs Is No Easy Job
Most people fail to realize just how much work goes into adequately managing a rental property. Failing to focus on reducing energy costs can lead to you losing money in the long run. This is why you need to work on adequately calculating electricity costs. The first step in this process is getting more information about the appliances you have in place in your rental property.
Finding the Wattage Label
When trying to measure your rental property’s energy cost, getting information about the various appliances you have in place is crucial. Most appliances and electronic devices will have a label that indicates the electrical wattage they require to run properly.
If you are unable to find this label, contacting the manufacturer of the product is a good idea. By giving the manufacturer the model number of the appliance, you can get the information you need. While wattage can vary based on the make and model of an appliance, average wattage rates are as follows:
- A coffee maker can use up to 1200 watts of electricity.
- Most dishwashers use around 2400 watts of electricity.
- A dryer will use about 5000 watts of electricity.
- Desktop computers consume right around 140 watts of electricity.
Getting the exact wattage an appliance or electronic device uses is the first step in making accurate electricity cost calculations.
Related: The 6 Hidden Costs of Owning a Rental Property
How to Actually Calculate a Device’s Energy Cost
Once you have information about how much wattage an appliance or device requires to operate, you will be ready to make your calculations. The first thing you need to do when making these calculations is to figure out how many hours a day the appliance or device in question will be used. By multiplying the device’s wattage and the number of hours it will be used, you can get an idea of how much electricity it will use on a daily basis.
Converting This Number into Kilowatts
Did you realize that electricity is generally measured by kilowatt-hours? This means that in order to get an accurate assessment of a rental property’s energy cost, you need to convert watt-hours into kilowatts. You can easily do this by taking the number you got in the step above and dividing it by 1,000.
Once you have this number, the next step is to multiply it by 30. This will give you an estimate of how much energy the appliance or electronic device will use in a month.
Figuring Out the Total Cost
The last thing you have to do when trying to come up with an energy budget for your rental property is to take a look at your last electric bill. On this bill, you should be able to find how much you pay for a kWh of electricity. With this number, you can take the number of monthly kilowatt-hours and multiply by the cost per hour. The number you come up with is what you will pay for electricity for a particular device or appliance.
While it will take time and effort to assess rental property energy cost, it is a valuable piece of information when trying to create a comprehensive budget for this real estate investment.
Related: A Comprehensive List of Rental Property Expenses for Investors
Ways to Reduce Your Monthly Energy Consumption
If you are like most rental property owners, then saving money is something you are passionate about. In order to save money on your monthly energy bills, you have to do a bit of research. Here are some of the things you can do to make your rental property more energy efficient.
Smart Thermostats Are a Great Addition to Your Rental Property
One of the most common causes of higher than normal energy bills is a constantly running HVAC unit. If you are looking for a way to solve this problem, then investing in a smart thermostat is a great idea. These technologically advanced thermostats can help you save nearly 12 percent on your energy bill.
With a smart thermostat, you can alter the temperature settings in your rental property from your smartphone. This means you can keep the temperature relatively warm until you need to show the vacant unit. By keeping a close eye on the internal temperature of your rental property, you can reduce the amount of energy it consumes substantially.
Work on Sealing Up Drafty Windows
Keeping a rental property in good shape is no easy job. Taking the time to inspect your investment on a regular basis is important. During these inspections, pay close attention to the condition of the windows. As time goes by, older windows will start to show signs of wear and may let all of the cool or warm air produced by an HVAC unit out.
If you detect a draft in one or more of the windows in your rental property, sealing them up in a hurry should be your top priority. The best way to do this is by investing in a high-quality caulk and some weather stripping. If you are unsure about how to do this work, then hiring professionals is a great idea. The money paid to these professionals will be worth it considering the amount of energy sealing up these drafty windows will save.
Ongoing Rental Property Maintenance
The biggest mistake you can make as a rental property owner is ignoring the maintenance needs your investment has. By continually maintaining and updating your rental property, you can reduce energy consumption and keep the home or apartment in question functional and appealing.
This article has been contributed by Amelia Atkins.