A simple upgrade of a commercial boiler could save landlords from a hefty fine, when new legislation comes into force in April 2018.
The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England & Wales) Regulations 2015 will make it unlawful to let properties that fail to meet a minimum energy efficiency standard (MEES). This is under the Energy Act 2011, which defines non-domestic buildings as all property let on a tenancy that is not a dwelling.
This puts a huge burden onto landlords of commercial properties, and while April 1 2018 seems quite some way off, it makes sense to start acting now. All commercial properties that already require an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) will need to comply with the new regulations, and landlords may need to carry out work in order to avoid being prevented from renting out a property, and potentially facing a fine of up to £150,000. Prompt action now will also make the property more desirable to Green-minded potential tenants.
An EPC for commercial buildings provides an energy rating based on the building itself and its composite services. So, what the building is made up of and the heating, lighting and ventilation of the property, all have an influence on its energy rating. This is currently rated from A to G. The MEES acceptable rating from April 1 2018 will be E, and this will apply to all new lettings and to the renewing or extension of existing tenancy agreements.
While the regulations may strike fear into landlords, who are facing the prospect of inevitable expense and hassle, there are safeguards within the legislation that ensure energy efficiency improvements are permissible, appropriate and cost-effective. Also, the installation of condensing boilers to replace inefficient boilers are high on the list of simple, low-cost solutions and will become a common and effective measure for improving the rating of non-complying properties.
According to national data, 66% of commercial property by value in the UK is rented, so there are many landlords UK-wide who will need to address this issue over the next eighteen months. The good news, however, is that any expense incurred can be balanced out by energy savings in the future. A significant proportion of commercial properties remain heated by commercial boiler plant, and considerable and rapid operational savings can be made through installing a condensing boiler.
It is well known that older, non-condensing boilers sometimes operate at just 50% efficiency, while condensing boilers typically run at 95% efficiency, and are also much more reliable. A practical, low-cost installation, therefore, could lift an F or G-rated building to a D. Landlords will subsequently avoid fines, be able to rent the property out on an ongoing basis, and welcome energy savings of up to 50%. Following on from this, if landlords are forward-thinking, they can use this development in promotional material and attract tenants on the basis that they are improving their carbon footprint by letting the property.
Robinsons have years of experience in boiler installation, repairs and maintenance, and we can advise on the best systems available, that are practical and appropriate to your property. Furthermore, we can install these systems in a way that causes minimum disruption to the building and the operations within it. We can then set up a planned maintenance schedule which ensures you see immediate energy-saving benefits and continue to experience these savings for years to come.
A condensing boiler upgrade is primarily an essential solution to the upcoming MEES regulations for all landlords of commercial rented properties. But it is also a reliable, non-disruptive and cost-effective measure which makes perfect business and environmental sense, so contact us today and we can take care of this for you.