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Many of those involved with managing property have been aware of the approaching minimum energy standards for buildings. Now the regulation is here.
‘The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015’ was required by the Energy act 2011 and will bring about minimum energy standards for the first time. Organisations that have an ISO14001 or ISO50001 management system will be adding this regulation to their legal register and it presents both risks and opportunities.
What does it mean for you?
•From 1st April 2016: Tenants can apply for consent to carry out energy efficiency improvements
•From 1st April 2018; Buildings with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of F or G can no longer be rented or leased
•On the 1st April 2023: This will be extended and all existing commercial leases will need an EPC rating of E or better (it has been reported that this could affect around 20% of commercial leases).
•Non-compliance will be linked to rateable value subject to a maximum fine of £150,000.
•Tenants of poorly rating properties will have the right to ask the landlord to improve the rating with a ‘relevant energy efficiency improvement’.
Advantages of acting early
Early action by property owners will give more options to comply at a lower cost. Firstly, a review of the ratings of a portfolio will identify which properties are at risk. It will also help with the creation of an action plan. With a plan in place, some items can be identified for improvement as part of normal maintenance and renewal.
There are also issues for future leases and dilapidations.
How can you achieve an E rating?
First of all, it is important to understand that huge numbers of existing EPC ratings are wrong. Low fee and low quality assessments formed the bulk of the EPCs produced for some years. Fees have often been below the market rates and time and resources have beet been spent on accurate calculations.
As a result large numbers of inaccurate EPCs have been lodged on at the Government's database - this was confirmed within a Department of Energy and Climate change (DECC) mystery shopping exercise which showed quite the scale of inaccuracy.
We can help.
In quite a number of cases spending time creating a detailed and accurate energy model has reduced the use of default values enough to achieve an ‘E’ rating without the need for any improvement works.
For some time now, we’ve been reviewing and re-calculating old EPCs in order to establish an accurate baseline. By accurately calculating the baseline EPC, we can in many cases minimise the work that needs to be done to a property in order to reach an ‘E’ rating.
Click hereIf you feel a review of your property portfolio would be beneficial