There’s a common saying in today’s world, ‘Go woke, go broke!’, and its purveyors would say that worrying about making an investment property environmentally friendly will only waste your money.
The movement towards eco-friendly in all industries, however, is rapidly gathering pace, so can there be money to be made by going green on investment properties?
MCG Quantity Surveyors managing director Mike Mortlock has told Broker News that being a rampant capitalist investor and an eco-warrior doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive.
“There are ways to improve your investment’s green credentials while boosting the rent and minimising your tax burden through cost write-offs and depreciation benefits,” he said.
“The issue is more poignant than ever after Australian voters voiced their support for climate change action at the federal election this year.
“We have reached a point where the public values eco-friendly moves designed to help address climate action.”
If you look at surging energy costs for example, on the east coast particularly, prices are expected to surge by up to 30 per cent next year, so energy-rated design and energy saving measures incorporated into a property mean higher tenant appeal, higher rents, lower running costs, depreciation benefits and a reduced carbon footprint.
According to Mr Mortlock, there are five main ways property investors can look to make their purchases environmentally friendly and profitable at the same time.
1.Heating and cooling
Keeping your property warm/cool with heaters and air conditioning is a major source of carbon emissions.
The best place to start is to ensure you have quality insulation installed in the roof and wall cavities.
As mentioned earlier, energy prices are sky rocketing, so going off the grid is a move many are making.
A decent solar and battery storage system for a residential property costs between $5,000-15,000, which isn’t cheap, but it allows you to depreciate its cost by 10 per cent a year and those that have made the switch almost unanimously swear by it.
Water tanks were common in Australian households in decades gone by, and it might be time we brought them back.
Using the water from tanks for toilets and washing machines is a great idea, and it means tenants are unlikely to ever pay excess water charges.
“This can mean a rent boost for the right property as water tanks can be installed and plumbed into a home for well under $10,000,” Mr Mortlock told Broker News.
The writing is on the wall – electric cars are coming. To get ahead and raise some eyebrows of possible buyers or tenants, installing a car charger in the garage could make your investment property stand out from the pack.