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Sunday, March 3, 2024
March 3, 2024

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Energy Adviser: Landlords mays qualify for incentives


As a landlord, you want your property to be attractive and comfortable for your tenants, while also holding its costs low and its value growing over the long term.

The fact is, every property needs the occasional update and maintenance from time to time. That’s especially true for older properties.

Even in a tight housing market, renters look for amenities that make a property a good value. Plus, like anybody else, they don’t want to pay more than they have to for home heating and cooling costs.

After rent, utility bills are typically the largest household expense. Older properties, particularly those built before stricter building codes took effect in the 1990s, aren’t as energy efficient as modern homes.

Renters consider those things when they’re in the market. So, your property will stand out from the rest if it offers more value and comfort from every energy dollar spent. Those improvements will prove their worth again down the road when it comes time to sell and you need tout its amenities.

Products like heat pumps, ductless heat pumps, double- or triple-pane windows and heat pump water heaters will help lower a home’s energy expenses, improve personal comfort and raise a property’s value. Improved insulation and home weatherization are immediately effective and offer great value. Replacing old appliances with Energy Star-certified models and upgrading lights to LED bulbs also make a big difference.

Clark Public Utilities can help make energy efficiency investments more affordable for property owners. Owners of electrically heated rentals ranging from four or fewer living units within one building down to a single family home are eligible for all current single-family residential energy efficiency programs, so long as other qualifying criteria are met. For larger, multifamily buildings, Clark Public Utilities has multifamily weatherization rebates, but pre-approval must be granted for these projects.

To qualify for utility incentives, the work must be done by a contractor participating in the Clark Public Utilities Contractor Network. It’s not an endorsement, recommendation or warranty, but a list of contactors who’ve met the standards to represent the utility’s programs and guide customers through the rebate process. Always get more than one bid for any project.

Rental properties with qualifying low-income tenants may be eligible for significant weatherization upgrades. Property owners just have to agree to participate in the program and make a small contribution towards the project. Homes with occupants who qualify for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) can get additional insulation, air leaks sealed and more. The program can also assist with other minor weatherization repairs such as heating systems, and ventilation issues.

To find out more about programs and incentives, visit clarkpublicutilities.com or call the Clark Public Utilities Energy Counselor of the Day at 360-992-3355, or email ecod@clarkpud.com.

Beyond big investments, there are many low-cost improvements that can be done for little time and money. Adding or replacing caulking around windows, doorframes and siding is inexpensive and goes a long way toward reducing energy waste, controlling moisture and preserving a home’s good condition. Replacing or installing weatherstripping around windows and exterior doors is also low cost and can result in immediate savings while increasing comfort.

Energy Adviser is written by Clark Public Utilities. Send questions to ecod@clarkpud.com or to Energy Adviser, c/o Clark Public Utilities, P.O. Box 8900, Vancouver, WA 98668.