Landlords and contractors should act now on energy efficiency rule changes
With further energy efficiency legislation less than a year away, it’s more important than ever for commercial landlords and businesses to take a proactive approach to their heating installations and maintenance strategies. And it’s part of a contractor’s role to encourage them to act now so that their properties aren’t prevented from being let.
From 1 April 2018 energy efficiency regulations in non-domestic buildings are going to change. It will mean landlords of non-domestic private rented properties – including public sector landlords – cannot grant a tenancy to new or existing tenants if their property has an EPC rating of below E. And, from 1 April 2023, landlords must not continue letting a non-domestic property which is already let if that property has an EPC rating of band F or G.
As a result, nearly 20 per cent of commercial property buildings in England and Wales could be barred from being let in the future because they do not comply with new Government energy standards, according to global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield.*
So what is the upshot for commercial heating contractors?
Proactive contractors should be talking to clients in this arena about their older units and switching them out ahead of the change through a planned maintenance strategy. The real issue here is the mounting pressure on landlords with tenancies due for renewal around April 2018 who are still heating their buildings with older boilers and systems, as they will end up being out of action for longer than necessary. They also run the risk of their assets decreasing in value if they don’t make the right improvements now.
While replacing an inefficient boiler with an efficient one is the obvious solution, we would also urge contractors to use it as a chance to reiterate the benefits of routine inspection and preventative maintenance, monitoring gas bills, introducing controls and water treatment. Not only these, but all the aspects of protecting the whole heating system.
This is a great opportunity for contractors to deepen their client relationships by providing advice that will ensure their rental properties continue to generate revenue.
Darren Finley is Chief Commercial Officer of Ideal Commercial Boilers and Keston Boilers.
This article first appeared in HVR magazine, May 2017.