Futurum Renewable Energy Systems Ltd
landlords, solar panels, solar
Renewable energy uptake remains good in 2014 with almost 600,000 solar PV installs leading the way.
Solar PV and other renewable technologies such as heat pumps and solar thermal are typically installed in consumers homes but there has also been excellent growth this year for commercial uptake mainly for roof and ground mounted PV and medium to large-scale biomass boosted by the lucrative Commercial Heat Incentive.
Social Landlord uptake has been slower, driven perhaps by a reluctance to spend money reducing the bills for tenants.
Impending legislation though will see social landlords forced to improve their EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating in coming years.
It is proposed that from 2018 UK landlords will need to have all properties rated at Band E or above. So what does this mean?
About half of UK homes are above Band D which means the rating needs to hit 55 points from a total of 100. A Band E property will need to hit 39-54 points. To compare this to a modern home, most of these where our head office is at Poundbury are Band C so 69 points plus.
The two biggest factors that affect an EPC are the building regulations at completion and the main heat source such as a gas or oil boiler. An old oil or gas boiler especially if they are an oil or LPG fired AGA will seriously drop the rating. Upgrading to a new boiler will help up the EPC rating as will increasing loft and cavity wall insulation and adding modern double glazing.
Adding at least one renewable energy source will also up this rating by a number of points. For instance a 4kW (16 panel) PV system will add 6-8 points.
In my time as a Domestic Energy Assessor producing these EPC's I have seen homes rated from a low 8 to a whopping 96 where the chap had added solar thermal, solar PV and a heat pump to an already well insulated 3 bed 1970's built home. Having done this this I doubt he will see a bill for some time!
So why should you bother as a social landlord?
Firstly the pending legislation and you will be forced to improve or be either fined or not able to let you property which would of course cost you thousands in lost rent.
Secondly, an EPC is an excellent guide to prospective tenants that a property has decent energy bills. As a for instance if you were letting a flat in a place with lots of similar properties available a good EPC rating would possibly mean that your property was easier to rent and/or you could charge more due to its lower energy bills.
The difference between the bills of a well-insulated property with a modern efficient heat source and one at the opposite end of the scale can run to hundreds of pounds.
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Retro House,, 6D Parkway Farm Business Centre,, Poundbury,UK
Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 3AR,UK
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