Following Ben Reeve-Lewis’s recent article on Hands on HMOs I’ve decided to add my penny’s worth about HMO energy usage. Earlier this year my family took back one of our HMOs as it needed refurbishing and I wanted to cut down the number of rooms I was renting out from 20 to 15. It’s a fabulous house and we bought it with the intention of living in it at some point.
With a huge gasp of shock I looked at the latest electricity bill. Now, bearing in mind there were 5 individuals living here with 5 tellies, 5 phones and other electronic paraphernalia, endless cups of tea and no responsibility towards the utility bills I thought our little family of four would at least halve the bill.
Here’s a copy of the up to date usage summary – can you see when we moved in? The grey column is 2010 and the blue column is 2011 split by months. We moved into the house in May 2011 and almost immediately doubled the usage from the previous year. I’m at a loss to explain the figures and can only put it down to the tumble dryer, my son’s night light, endless hours of ironing and hoovering (not!) or my kids have set up a cannabis farm in the attic.
So, if you’re worried about your HMO tenants abusing the electricity usage- don’t. Your kids/husband/wife will be far worse and you can’t argue with the proof!
P.S. You may be wondering about the gas usage – as a family we use slightly less than the tenants did but that’s probably down to the fact we don’t shower as much as them. This year we’ll be cuddling under blankets together due to the rate rise – probably a bit much to ask of my tenants.