This category is for articles of interest to owners of Eco Holiday Homes in the UK. It contains posts, articles and tips on many areas of managing more sustainable Eco Holiday Homes and Cottages, including energy efficiency, EV charging points, LED lighting and insurance implications. Check out these posts, Energy performance Certificates and Holiday Homes, Natural Cleaning Products, Building a sustainable holiday letting business

reduce plastic

reduce plasticWe all know that we should be using less plastic in order to create less plastic waste; in the past 13 years the world has made more plastic than it did in the previous half-century (University of Cambridge) with 350 million tonnes created every 12 months, 8 million of which is making its way into our oceans and causing irrevocable damage to sea creatures and the habitats in which they live.

No matter if it’s taking our own bags at the supermarket, drinking from a reusable coffee cup or making our way down to a two-minute beach clean, we all need to do our bit as the cumulative impact of such small changes can be massive.

Here are five easy-to-do plastic-free changes you could make when cleaning your holiday letting property and reduce plastic waste.

Stop those plastic microfibres

Microfibres are tiny strands of plastic commonly found on clothes and bed linen that shed off synthetic fabrics like polyester, rayon and nylon. Scientists have discovered that they are one of the main causes of plastic waste pollution in the ocean.

The most common reason these fibres make their way into water streams and the ocean is of course, during the washing process.  Solutions such as the Guppyfriend can stop these fibres from leaving the washing machine, considerably reducing the amount of plastic leaving your holiday home with minimal effort.

Reduce the number of disposable wipes and cloths

In order to reduce the number of disposable items you use during the cleaning process, consider using washable cotton cloths and flannels.  You can even use old clothes such as t-shirts that would otherwise be thrown away!

This will ensure that you’re not chucking away a large amount of cleaning materials at the end of every changeover, while potentially saving a considerable amount of money.

Move to a natural loofah scrubber

Rather than spending hours and hard elbow grease scrubbing those pans with a scouring brush or wire wool, only to throw it straight into the bin once you’re done, consider using one of the growing number of biodegradable scrubbers on the market. Popping it in your compost is much more friendly for the environment!

Have you tried bicarbonate of soda?

Bicarbonate of soda is a powerful natural deodoriser and can be used to remove odours from fridges, carpets and upholstery throughout a holiday home.

For fridges, place a shallow bowl of bicarbonate of soda on the shelf and leave until the odour has been reduced or removed.  When it comes to your sofas and carpets, sprinkle on the affected area and leave for a few hours before returning with the hoover!

The great thing about bicarbonate of soda? You can buy it in a cardboard box, so no need for any plastic at all!

Vinegar for window cleaning?

Whilst we might be more familiar with vinegar on our indulgent fish and chips, it can actually perform a number of useful purposes around our home.  For example, white vinegar can be used for removing limescale from kettles – all you need to do is fill with a solution of one-part water to one-part white vinegar and leave overnight – return in the morning to find that the limescale can be remove easily. Just like bicarbonate of soda, it can also be purchased in glass bottles and is free from any plastic!

For more information on specialist insurance for your holiday home please give our experienced team a call on 01237 429444.

Smart Meters and Holiday Homes

Smart Meters and Holiday HomesWhat are Smart Meters and are there benefits of installing them in your holiday home? If there was a simple way for you to monitor, even reduce the gas and electricity bills in your  holiday home or cottages would you do it? The answer for most people would be yes, so when the current Government’s Smart Meter Scheme was announced as part of the Conservative’s election manifesto in 2017 it was an exciting initiative for many; the opportunity to not only potentially cut costs on gas and electricity bills but also become more efficient and reduce the impact we have on the environment as a part of the process.

However, two years on and not everything has quite gone to plan. Here’s our update on the roll out of  smart meters and whether or not it might be time for you to make the change in your holiday home…

What was the plan for the rollout of smart meters?

Despite energy firms warning that the technology wasn’t ready, they were initially told that every home should have smart meters installed by the end of 2020.  As we approach the end of 2019 that deadline has now been delayed by a further four years until the end of 2024 (by which time they are targeting installation in 85% of homes).  It is now anticipated that only 50% of homes will have their smart meters installed by the original deadline date amid souring costs and technological setbacks.

Why would you want a smart meter in your holiday home?

The general idea of a smart meter is that the more information you have at your fingertips, the better. The displays help you understand where energy is being spent and make appropriate savings or alterations to your lifestyle. This could be a particularly attractive concept for holiday homeowners, where they aren’t the person using the energy and often live a good distance from the property in question. The key benefits include:

  1. Seeing how much energy your holiday home is spending in near-real-time, via the display or an app.
  2. New automatic and regular meter readings can help to make your holiday home electricity bills more accurate compared to their estimated counterparts.
  3. New versions also enable simpler and easier tariff switching to keep bills lower, with new versions even allowing you to change supplier.

Whilst all of these benefits are geared toward reducing bills, Andrea Leadsom’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has however estimated that customers will not begin to make savings from smart meters until 2022 and they will gain only £36 a year by 2034.

Do you have to have a smart meter at home or in your holiday letting property?

Although customers can turn down the offer of smart meters, firms are faced with fines if they don’t promote them. These fines have brought about some concerns that energy users are being blackmailed into ensuring high levels of uptake. In turn this has led to potential issues such as companies offering more attractive tariffs to those with smart meters in order to ensure households get on board.

Is it time to install smart meters in holiday homes?

In principal, the potential of lowering bills and gaining a better understanding of when and where your energy is being used makes the idea of smart meters for holiday homes a good one. However, there have been a number of technical issues with some meters. Some homeowners have found that their device had stopped working after switching supplier. There have also been reports that display screens have broken within a short period of time.

It’s therefore vital that you do your research before making the move; has the meter your provider is offering had positive reviews from other users? Are the tariffs for smart meter users advantageous compared to your current rates? Are they offering to install the meter for free? If the answer to all of these is yes, then it may well be right time to install one.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. Need an insurance quote for your holiday let? Give us a call on 01237 429444 and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.

#2minutebeachclean board Lundy
#2minutebeachclean board Lundy

Left to Right – Dean Jones, Conservation Warden, Derek Green, Lundy General Manager, Mark Lavington, Director at Boshers Ltd

Devon based holiday cottage insurance specialists Boshers have teamed up with insurer Ecclesiastical to support the #2minutebeachclean initiative and sponsor a station at Lundy.

The firms are providing £5,000 of funding to #2minutebeachclean as part of Ecclesiastical’s ‘Closer to You’ community grant program. The proceeds are being used for setting up 10 new beach clean stations including one at Lundy Island to help remove plastic from its otherwise pristine marine environment.

The two minute beach clean initiative calls upon people visiting the region’s beaches to spend just two minutes of their time clearing the growing volume of plastic and debris washed up from the sea.

“We’re proud to support this growing initiative that ensures our beaches are kept clean”

#2minutebeachclean Lundy

#2minutebeachclean Landing Beach Lundy, Left to Right – Dean Jones, Conservation Warden, Mark Lavington, Director at Boshers Ltd

Mark Lavington, Director at Boshers Ltd explained; “We’re lucky to live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world where our beaches play a huge role in the region’s tourism industry. We’re proud to support this growing initiative that ensures our beaches are kept clean. As a keen sub-aqua diver and regular visitor to Lundy I’m thrilled we have been able to sponsor a board for the island’s Landing Beach”

Each year an estimated 6.4 million tonnes of plastic enters the sea, killing more than one million seabirds and countless other marine animals.

“We are delighted with our #2minutebeachclean board and grateful to Boshers for their support”

Derek Green, the Lundy General Manager said; “We are delighted with our #2minutebeachclean board and grateful to Boshers for their support. We hope the new board will encourage more of our visitors to help keep our beach plastic free. Our Conservation Warden, Dean Jones has installed bins above the beach, from where the plastic will be sorted and shipped to the mainland for recycling.”

Boshers applied for grant funding from Ecclesiastical Insurance Group’s ‘Closer to You’ community programme to boost its support for The Beach Clean Network Limited. This programme gives Ecclesiastical’s Select insurance broker partners the chance to be part of its ambition to give £100million to good causes. As well as providing funding for charities close to brokers, employees from the specialist insurer are also teaming up with brokers for volunteering days and fundraising challenges.

“It is very special for us to have a presence on Lundy Island”

#2minutebeachcleanMartin Dorey, founder of the #2minutebeachclean, said, “It is very special for us to have a presence on Lundy Island. It is a beautiful island that is well loved by many, me included! I have cleaned the beach there myself when I have visited and know that even marine reserves like Lundy need a little extra help clearing marine litter. We are so very grateful to our friends at Boshers for supporting our beach cleaning campaign, and for enabling us to enable Lundy’s visitors to do their bit to keep it pristine. Thanks also to the staff at Lundy for helping to make this happen. It’s brilliant!”

For more information on #2minutebeachclean and how you can get involved please click here.

Boshers are holiday cottage insurance specialists offering quotes and advice to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurance intermediary can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.

reducing single-use plastic

reducing single-use plastic The BBC documentary series Blue Planet and several other high profile media campaigns have recently shed a considerable amount of focus onto the topic of single-use plastic and recycling.

As tourism businesses and holiday homes are often located in some of the most outstanding and naturally beautiful places on the planet, how can we contribute to maintaining what’s around us and ensure we preserve the environment in which we live so that people can continue to enjoy it a long time into the future?

Single-use plastic – the statistics:

  • There are approximately 500 billion plastic bags used worldwide each year.
  • 50% of plastics are only used once before being thrown away.
  • It can take between 20 – 1,000 years for a plastic bag to break up into small pieces.
  • Every year 6.4 million tonnes of plastic are dumped into the ocean – the equivalent of 3,200 kilometres of waste disposal lorries full with waste.
  • If you joined all of the plastic bags in the ocean it would be long enough to circumnavigate the globe 4,200 times.
  • Approximately 1 million sea birds die every year due to plastic in the sea.

So what can you do as a holiday homeowner?

Offering your guests reusable bottles…

Globally humans buy a million plastic bottles per minute; 91% of these are not recycled. Providing your guests with reusable bottles will make a real difference over a week’s stay. They can even be branded with your logo at a reasonably low cost.

Say no to plastic straws

Single-use plastic straws are bad news for our oceans; they’re dangerous for sea wildlife and just like a plastic bag, take many, many years to break down. By removing any from your holiday home you’ll be doing your bit to reduce the waste going into our seas.

Consider providing guests a bag for life

Since the plastic bag charge was introduced in England, there’s been a dramatic 85% drop in their use. This has led to a distinct change in the way people think and behave; a bag for life is certainly now no longer something for the minority. However, with so much to pack and think about when on holiday, some of your guests might leave their resuable bag at home. Thus increasing the chance of using single-use plastic carrier bags to fetch their daily items from the shops. Have you considered offering a non-plastic bag for life to your guests? Just like your reusable bottle this can be branded if you wish, and will stay with your guest a long time after they leave.

Avoid Microbeads

The good news is that microbeads, which are made from plastic and commonly found in cosmetic and personal care products, should now not be used, furthermore a full ban on their sale is due to come into force from July this year. If you provide your guests with face scrubs and other toiletries be sure to remove any with microbeads from your cottage, and always check that what you’re buying is environmentally responsible.

#2MinuteBeachClean

The #2minutebeachclean initiative encourages all of us to visit our local beach and clear some of the plastic waste. The hashtag, which has grown immensely since its inception in 2014 is now used around the world.

For more information about the two minute beach clean and how to get involved please read our earlier article:

This is just an overview of how holiday homeowners can reduce the single-use plastic used in holiday homes. If you have any tips or suggestions please leave them in the comments box below.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For information on how specialist insurance can help protect your holiday home business, give us a call on 01237 429444.

 

 

Energy-Performance-Certificate

Energy-Performance-Certificate

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) has for a long time been a measure of the efficiency of a property. Changes to which properties require an Energy Performance Certificate arrive into legislation in April 2018. As a result we’re being asked by more and more holiday homeowners where they stand.

Whilst we’ll often bemoan forever increasing utility bills, one thing that many of us won’t consider is the energy efficiency of our holiday home. Improving this area can quickly lead to a reduction in ongoing costs. Especially relevant is an Energy Performance Certificate assessment can help highlight areas for improvement.

Let’s take you through the key details:

What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?

If you’re not already familiar with them, EPCs record the current level of energy efficiency of your property. They also provide recommendations on how you can make improvements and reduce the costs of heating your holiday home.

Your holiday home is given an energy efficiency rating from A (the highest) through to G (the lowest); the higher the rating, the lower the costs of heating your property as a rule of thumb.

How much does an EPC cost?

EPCs tend to cost between £50 – £100 + VAT.

The cost of gaining an Energy Performance Certificate if it isn’t required can often put property owners off. It’s important to highlight that if you’re able to improve the energy efficiency the savings can far outweigh the costs. Thus an EPC can be used as a real tool in focusing the mind in creating an efficient cottage.

Who currently requires an EPC?

An EPC is needed whenever a new property is built, sold or rented. There are however some exceptions when it comes to holiday homes; if your cottage is not let for more than a cumulative period of more than four months in a 12 month period then you will not need to apply for a certificate.

Another interesting area for holiday homeowners surrounds a term known as ‘a license to occupy’. This is when ‘guests to your holiday home do not have exclusive use of your property during the period of their booking’ and therefore do not have a tenancy during their stay.

That’s not to say that another guest would be able to share the property with them. This situation is more commonly associated with hotels and self-catering offerings, whereby the customer rents the room or cottage, but staff / owners still have access to it in order to carry out essential work, or room service and cleaning.

If it were a tenancy you would be asked to give your guest notice before entering the property. This is the key difference.

Who will require one from April 2018

The official guidelines state that ‘an Energy Performance Certificate will only be required for a property rented out as a furnished holiday let, as defined by HMRC, where:

  • the building is occupied for the purposes of a holiday as a result of a short term letting arrangement of less than 31 days to each tenant, and;
  • is rented out for a combined total of four months or more in any 12 month period
  • if the occupier is responsible for meeting the energy costs for the property.

There are however some exclusions to this and it is advised that you read the full guidance on this link if you’re unsure of where you stand:

Why have an EPC?

The majority of this post has surrounded whether you need a certificate rather than the benefits of having one. An EPC can not only provide you with ideas of how to create an efficient property and lower costs, but can also be used as a valuable marketing tool.

Recent VisitEngland research has indicated a whopping 58% of all English consumers indicate they’d want to stay in green accommodation. In addition 60% would pay extra if there’s a ‘demonstrable’ benefit for them. What better benefit than the knowledge that they’ll be staying in a property that’s going to be warm and cosy this winter, whilst you save on your bills? We envisage many holiday homeowners increasing the efficiency of their holiday home and proudly displaying the EPC in their Welcome Folder.

Useful Guidance on EPCs:

Government Guidance:

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For information on how specialist insurance can help protect your holiday home business, call us on 01237 429444

electric-vehicle-charging-point-holiday-home

electric-vehicle-charging-pointHave you considered how installing an electric vehicle charging point could help attract more guests? The government announced it would ban the sale of new (non-hybrid) petrol and diesel cars from 2040. Many felt that this was such a long time into the future that the likelihood of it altering car buying patterns in the mid to short term were relatively remote.

Key developments from companies such as Volvo, who will no longer offer cars with only an internal combustion engine after 2019, have this week been followed by Oxford Town Council, who have indicated plans to ban petrol and diesel cars from their city centre from 2019 onwards.

With the tide of change rolling quicker than anticipated through the motor industry, some holiday homeowners have already been proactive in installing electric charge points for those guests that already own an electric car, and the increasing number that will in the future.

We take a look at your options and potential costs of installing your own electric vehicle charging point.

How many electric cars are there in UK?

Latest figures indicate there are 128,500 electric cars registered within the UK. Whilst this figure isn’t overly high, the growth in sales over the past four years has been. Over 123,000 electric vehicles registered over that period (88 per day).

What if the current growth rate continues over the next two years? It’s estimated there will be more than one million electric cars making their way around the UK before 2020.

What are your options when it comes to electric vehicle charging points?

Solutions available for your own holiday home will depend where your guest’s cars are located during their stay. The good news is that there are a variety of different options that can suit cars parked in the driveway, or cars parked within a garage.

The main difference in the offering is whether or not the charge point is freestanding or wall mounted, with the freestanding option obviously giving greater potential flexibility in terms of positioning.

Charging speeds can be at either 3kW or 7kW, with faster and higher powered wall units being roughly twice as fast, but as you may expect, they will be more costly than the slower option.

How much will it cost to install an electric vehicle charging point?

The prices vary from company to company but as an example, British Gas offer three different price ranges, depending on the type of unit you opt for. If you would like a single wall-box charger which are stated to be ‘ideal for small businesses with one or two electric cars’ their current price is from £1,480 for the unit and installation. Holiday cottage complex owner’s with multiple holiday lettings may require something more sophisticated, such as installing a freestanding charger, which starts at £6,330.

Are you are keen to avoid this initial outlay? Increasingly plug-in car manufacturers are offering deals or partnerships with charging point producers. In some cases these can provide a free home charging point.

There are partnerships available with Tesla for Destination Charging. Qualifying properties receive two Tesla Wall Connectors at no cost on the condition that they are installed in visible or convenient locations. You can read more here.

How much will it cost to charge a car?

When installing an electric vehicle charging point there may be concerns it will lead to a rocketing electricity bill. This is generally not the case. Electric charging usually costs around 20% of the price of fuel (as an average). This is however an increased cost to your holiday home (you wouldn’t usually top up their cars with fuel during their stay). Therefore it is important to establish how you’ll pass this cost on to your guests.

So do you want to charge your visitors per use, offer a flat rate, or offer the use of the charging point as an inclusive facility? This will all depend on how much the charging point will be used. Offering the facility will no doubt attract more guests who drive electric vehicles. You could also consider different charges for off-peak and peak seasons. The key here is to be up front and open about your pricing for those staying with electric vehicles.

Your holiday home insurance

Always update your insurer of any changes or alterations made to your holiday home business. Adding an electric charging point is no different. Be sure to use approved professional installers and providers. This will ensure reliability for your guests and quality of service for you as the holiday cottage owner.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For information on how specialist insurance can help protect your holiday home business, call us on 01237 429444.

sustainable holiday letting

sustainable holiday lettingWe live in a society in which we are all growing more and more conscious of the world in which we live and the impact we make upon it. Recent news of motor manufacturers moving away from gas-guzzling cars towards cleaner electric vehicles are indicative of this change. Indeed there is a trend towards sustainable holiday letting businesses installing electric vehicle charging points to cater for increased demand. These trends have also permeated visitor opinion and purchasing behavior when it comes to booking a holiday cottage. Building a sustainable holiday letting business will increasingly become good businesss.

Recent research has found that guests actively seeking sustainable holiday letting accommodation are still in the minority. Importantly this research also illustrated that a holiday home with sustainable credentials does add extra appeal to potential guests.

When combined with the fact that sustainable no longer has to mean expensive – and quite often leads to cost savings over the medium to long-term for the holiday homeowner – the idea of building a sustainable and eco-friendly brand for your holiday cottage can become quite appealing. For example owners who have embraced the use of LED lighting have seen a reduction in electricity use.

We’ve been taking a look at Visit England’s ‘Sustainable Tourism Management Good Practice Guide’. The guide outlines ways in which you can improve the ways in which you work sustainably as a holiday homeowner, and become more green in practice.

Understanding your current position and developing a plan

When it comes to being green, the first step is to increase the knowledge you have of what you’re already using and where. This should involve monitoring your meter readings and fuel deliveries to identify the current level of consumption and where savings can or could be made. A great tool for highlighting the potential for improvement and developing a plan of action can be found at Better Tourism – Securing a sustainable future for your business.

If you don’t already do so, be sure to let your energy and water providers have regular and accurate readings as these can significantly lower bills. Live a good distance from your property? Ensure the task is delegated to someone to undertake on a regular basis.

Communicate with your guests

Getting it right when explaining your sustainable credentials to guests can be tricky; you don’t want it to come across as too technical and you definitely don’t want it to come across as preachy. Ensure you explain the changes that have been made, and most importantly, how they impact and improve your guest experience.

For example, if you’ve insulated your holiday home, explain what this means to your guest in the winter (particularly if your cottage is stone walled or of original construction and therefore may be perceived to be pretty chilly in January), not what it means in terms of your exceeding building regulations, its millimeters in thickness or how they should do the same themselves!

Get the guests involved in your sustainable holiday letting business

If you can, get the guests involved in your efforts. Clear communication is the key here too; do they know what they need to recycle and where within your holiday home? If they’re staying for a week, do they know when the recycling collection is made? Consider communicating this in your holiday let welcome folder.

Make this as obvious and as easy as possible for them to do, and if you’re attracting families, think of ways and games you could create to get the little ones involved in the effort. Things that are fun are more likely to be done.

Remember it doesn’t stop at the front door

It can be easy to think of sustainability as being contained within the four walls of our holiday homes. When in reality it can and perhaps should extend to the garden and grounds of your cottage. Consider using plants and shrubs that are in keeping with the local environment. Perhaps encourage wildlife through bird boxes in order to create the perfect holiday haven. Water butts can also be a handy addition in reducing the mains water that you use on the garden.

For more tips on how you can be a little greener please take a look at: VisitBritain – Maximising your Sustainability.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. Need an insurance quote for your holiday let? Give us a call on 01237 429444.

green accommodation

green accommodation

When it comes to tourism, being green is really beginning to pay; a whopping 58% of English consumers surveyed by VisitEngland indicated they’d want to stay in green accommodation with awards or environmentally friendly practices. So as a holiday homeowner providing green accommodation with solid eco credentials, how do you communicate with this potential marketplace? How do you ensure that they choose your cottage over someone else’s?

The varying levels of engagement with sustainability

Now that we’ve said that more than half of consumers would want to stay in green accommodation, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this is an incredibly important factor in the decision making of many guests. You’d not be wrong. However it is important to understand the varying levels of engagement that potential guests feel when it comes to being green.

Around 10% of the population are truly engaged with sustainability; they care for the planet and the society in which they live, and they’re likely to extensively research their potential accommodation and travel, even paying extra to stay in the eco-friendly option.

The rest of the population can be broadly split into two categories:

  • those that are willing to buy sustainable and will pay extra if there’s a demonstrable benefit for them (around 60%); and
  • those that aren’t interested or motivated in their decision making by sustainability and would be reluctant to pay more (accounting for 30%).

So this leaves us with around 70% of the market to target and engage with, ensuring that they not only know that we’re green, but why and how that benefits them as a paying guest.

The integration with your website

Having a sustainability page and a green policy isn’t going to cut the mustard anymore; they can be dry and they’re also rarely visited. In comparison with your other pages this is the sort of content that is only going to hit home with the 10% of the population whom are heavily invested in green tourism.

Make being green a central element to all of your copy, but ensure it doesn’t become over-baring by focussing on the actual positives of your actions. Take a look at your copy and ask yourself if you’re really communicating the green advantages; if there’s a photo of your cottage with solar panels are you saying how much Co2 you’re saving and how much that’s saving them as a guest in return?

Carrying this message through to your other communications

Don’t just leave this on your website for a couple of years; ensure that you’re delivering the same message through your Facebook page and your email marketing efforts. These are key ‘touch-points’ with potential and returning guests between now and the point at which they come to make that booking decision, so make sure they’re well educated in your green credentials to save the need of them having to research and find somewhere else.

The benefits of green accommodation awards

Awards are still a great marketing tool when it comes to communicating credibility and quality with potential guests. 51% of respondents to a recent survey conducted by VisitEngland indicated that they’d select one hotel over another if it had a green award. The same findings can broadly be applied to the holiday home market. Therefore the question is, have you applied for a green award to give your actions and hard work the credibility they deserve?

These don’t have to be through a glitzy award ceremony; there are a number of schemes that reward and promote businesses operating with a consideration for the environment. Do your research, and once you’ve achieved the certificate or won the award promote it. Ensure that the logo goes onto your website and all other promotional material.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For information on how we can help and support your holiday home business call us on 01237 429444.

Electric vehicle charging point

Electric vehicle charging point

How many of your guests reach your holiday cottage by car? Bet you’ve got somewhere for them to park haven’t you? For years we’ve been welcoming guests in their diesel and petrol cars and providing them with somewhere to pull up. So how long until we’re also providing an electric vehicle charging point for their new electric car?

Electric vehicles, commonly known as EVs

Electric vehicles, commonly known as EVs, are becoming increasingly popular in the UK, so installing an EV charging point at your holiday home might not be as far off as you think.

By October 2016 there were over 75,000 new EVs registered in the UK. The first half of 2016 saw sales increase by more than 30% from the same period in 2015. In short, the popularity of electric vehicles is only going up.

EVs work by using energy stored in rechargeable batteries and typically have a range of up to 100 miles, with more advanced models going further. Once they’ve done the distance, owners need to plug their car in and charge the batteries up. There are currently around 11,900 charge points in the UK (and this number is growing), so there may be a charging point near your holiday home they could use.

However, this isn’t always convenient as charging can take a while. An overnight charge on a private driveway is always going to be the first choice for any discerning EV owner.

Installing an electric vehicle charging point will attract more guests

Guests with electric vehicles are more inclined to book with a holiday let that has a charging point. A quick Google search will show you that many holiday homes are already doing it. There’re many eco-conscious guests that you could be missing out on, particularly if you’re in a rural location without a local charging point.

The charging points themselves can be freestanding or mounted on a wall or post. There are other options such as one or two sockets, and different charging speeds. Whilst EVs do have a standard plug, it is very important that an extension line hanging out of the kitchen window isn’t used! Charging points must be installed by a professional, certified installer to ensure that it is safe and suitable for use.

There are also different payment options available, so you can decide whether you want guests with EVs to pay per charge, or whether to have the charging point as a cost inclusive facility. We recommend talking to an EV charge point specialist to decide the best option for you and your guests.

Before any installation goes ahead, you will need to inform your insurance provider of your plans. As long as you’re using a certified installer and approved charging products, there should be no problems with your insurance. Informing them before you install the charger means that your policy can be appropriately amended. Installing an electric vehicle charging point without notifying your insurer could leave you without cover should anything go wrong.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.

#2minutebeachclean

#2minutebeachcleanAs specialists in holiday home insurance we understand the importance of creating a sustainable tourist sector we can all enjoy. The UK has so many beautiful beaches, and we want to help keep them that way. That’s why Boshers is supporting the #2minutebeachclean initiative.

Created by the not for profit organisation The Beach Clean Network, #2minutebeachclean encourages people to take two minutes out of their day and pick up some rubbish that is on the beach.

History of #2minutebeachclean

The initiative was started on social media following the 2013/14 winter storms which left UK beaches covered in litter. These bits of rubbish harm wildlife, and make our beaches look horrible and unappealing to tourists. By having litter covered beaches we’re not only harming the birds, animals, and sea life, we’re also harming our local tourism economy.

Helping the local wildlife

Two minutes in 24 hours isn’t much, but it can really help your local beach. Each piece of plastic you remove is no longer a danger to the wildlife, each net you pick up is no longer going to entangle birds and other creatures, each carrier bag you put in the bin is going to be one less bag that is eaten by a turtle or bird. It literally saves lives.

Helping the local economy

If your holiday let is pristine and perfect that is wonderful, but if your guests take a stroll to the nearest beach and discover piles of washed up rubbish then they are less likely to come back or recommend the area (and your cottage!). Each guest brings money to the local economy and keeps beautiful UK coastal towns going; dirty beaches can send that money and tourism elsewhere!

Get out there

We want to encourage all of our coastal holiday homeowners to take part in the #2minutebeachclean and help their local area. Get your friends and family to come along too; 4 people spending 2 minutes each can make such a difference!

Make sure that you get involved on social media too and let everyone know that you’re doing your bit by using the hashtag #2minutebeachclean. Here at Boshers we do just that via twitter although instagram and facebook are popular too.

This short video by Beach Clean Network founder Martin Dorey is a great introduction:

Top tips

Rubbish isn’t the cleanest and most hygienic of things, and you’ll sometimes come across items you’re not sure what to do with. We’ve created a short list of top tips for your 2 minute beach clean:

  • Be aware of tide times – don’t put yourself at risk!
  • Wear protective gloves or use a litter picker
  • Make sure that children are supervised at all times. Animal waste and sharp objects can be very dangerous
  • Recycle what you can
  • Don’t pick up needles or sharp objects
  • If you come across a dead seabird or marine mammal contact The Marine Strandings Network on 0345 2012626
  • If you find a marine mammal (such as a dolphin or seal) report it straight away. Call The British Divers Marine Life Rescue on 01825 765546. If the animal is still alive do not try putting it back into the sea yourself.

#2minutebeachcleanFor more information on the initiative, visit the #2minutebeachclean website here.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.