Higher electricity costs: how to circumvent them

One property investment expert is telling clients to focus their attention on energy consumption when it comes to their rental properties – a direct result, he says, of the newly elected federal Liberals’ plans to invest in green energy.

“As Ontarians already know, hydro rates are going up and we expect them to go up more with the new government’s plans for taxes on greenhouse gases and investments in green energy,” said Erwin Szeto, a sales representative with Rock Star Brokerage Inc, in Hamilton who specializes in helping property investors.

Szeto advises that wherever possible, landlords should pass the higher cost of electricity on to their tenants and look for ways to be more energy efficient, such as installing programmable thermostats and motion sensor lights, especially in hallways and exterior spaces.

He also says if you’re considering renovations to include a secondary suite, to make sure to separate the wiring and install separate meters so each tenant can take ownership of their energy consumption.

“Encourage your tenants to conserve by doing laundry and running the dishwasher in the evenings,” says Szeto. “ And if your leases are all-inclusive, include a clause to cap utility costs.”
 

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