”The work was for a variety of schools, sports facilities, administrative buildings and included a library and a theatre. The work was instructed in November but this large programme required carefully organisation and the collection of a huge amount of data from a lot of different people. Site surveys have been on going through January – March. Despite the interruption caused by the snow which caused some buildings to close unexpectedly, we still aim to complete the programme by the end of the financial year.”
GDAM Member Peter Philipson of Cedar Professional Services has achieved what is probably the lowest-cost MEES compliance for his client Daler-Rowney. Daler-Rowney is a leading art materials manufacturer based in Bracknell selling a wide range of artist products such as paints, artist surfaces, brushes and a range of accessories.
Daler-Rowney wished to sell a factory unit and instructed Cedar to provide the necessary EPC and Recommendation Report. The result was an asset rating of 126 (F), which meant that any new owner would be unable to let the property due to the MEES Regulations that come into effect on 1st April 2018.
Having identified that there were four rooms fitted with old-style tungsten bulbs, Peter recommended that these should be replaced by low-energy lamps such as CFLs or LEDs. Daler-Rowney duly replaced these at a cost of around £10, the result being an asset rating of 124 (E).
Daler-Rowney did not have a budget for improving the building prior to sale, and were understandably pleased with achieving MEES compliance for only £10.
Gerald Hedges, Wareham Plant Manager said: “We were impressed by Peter’s practical approach to achieving compliance as we did not want to spend money on a building which is to be sold.”
Making improvements to old and often inefficient properties can be very expensive so GDAM has created a new Energy Report that will identify the most sensible and cost-effective ways to improve homes and commercial properties that are in EPC bands F or G, in preparation for the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) legislation in April 2018.
MEES makes it illegal for private landlords to rent out any properties which have an EPC rating lower than E39. MEES is intended to identify properties that are very inefficient and expensive for tenants to heat comfortably. The Energy Report considers all aspects of a building’s fabric, heating and insulation, making recommendations that can improve the property and its level of comfort.
We have already started working with landlords on their properties using the new report, providing unbiased and independent advice. One of these, the Central England Co-operative, came to GDAM after we had worked with them on other energy efficiency programmes. Luke Olly, Energy Efficiency Lead at Central England Co-operative said “The years of experience and extensive knowledge of energy efficiency within buildings, plus the co-operative values of GDAM meant that they were an obvious choice as a partner”.
Dave Green, experienced energy assessor and Finance Director at GDAM said “Working with CEC has allowed us to use the new Energy Report, looking at the building’s fabric but also talking to tenants about how they can save money. We hope this will lead to tenants living in warmer properties without seeing their energy bills rise”.
For more information about GDAM’s Energy Report for homes or commercial buildings please contact GDAM by using the enquiry form at http://gdam.co/contact/
In December 2017, the Government issued a consultation on the domestic minimum energy requirement (MEES), see https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/669198/PRS_Minimum_Standards_Consultation_2017.pdf
The main proposal is that the rule that improvements should not be conditional on full funding but that landlords should be required to make a financial contribution. The figure suggested is £2,500, this would be inclusive of VAT and inclusive of any part funding available but no spending made previous to Oct 2017 would count (unless of course that spending had already lifted the property into band E or higher).
The £2,500 spend would still be required even if it did not bring the property to an E, but crucially if there were no recommendations that would get the property to an E for less than £2,500 then nothing would have to be done. For example, if £1,000 could be spent on loft insulation but that still leaves the property at an F but there were no other measures costing less than £1,500 then the landlord would only have to spend the £1,000.
Crucially by the Government’s own admission the £2,500 cap would not encourage any new central heating systems, solid wall insulation or double-glazing installs and raising the limit to £5,000 (as originally proposed a year ago) would nearly double the number of homes affected (from 139,000 to 260,000) and the average landlord costs/property would still only be £1,700.
The consultation document explains the benefits of the cap, “Energy efficiency improvements can benefit landlords too in the form of reduced long-term property maintenance costs, increased rentability, increased tenant satisfaction, reduced void periods, and ultimately in increased sale value of the property. A number of studies have shown a robust link between higher standards of energy efficiency and increased property values. The Government believes that the likely benefits of an improved property will outweigh any costs resulting from the regulatory amendments proposed through this consultation. Energy efficiency also brings wider benefits to society as a whole. The cleanest, cheapest and most reliable energy is the energy which we do not use, and successful implementation of the minimum standard regulations will reduce system pressures, helping make supplies more secure and reducing carbon emissions, which is essential to meeting the UK’s climate change targets.”
GDAM welcomes the proposal but considers that a £5,000 cap would be much more effective without unduly affecting landlords.
Would you like to live in a home paying just £47 per month for gas and electricity? This is the incredible monthly dual fuel bill for the low energy home of Shropshire-based refurbishment specialist and GDAM member Claus Best.
Claus, who runs Smart Energy Services, an energy advice and retrofit business in Bayston Hill has converted his bungalow into an extremely comfortable and efficient home. In 2010 he undertook a complete retrofit project of the 1950’s concrete bungalow to create his comfortable Low Energy Home.
The metal framed single glazed windows were replaced with wooden triple glazed ones. External wall insulation was fitted and sprayfoam was used for the roof insulation. An air-tightness membrane and various tapes were used to create a very draught proof home. An efficient gas boiler with external weather compensation and a hot water tank also linked to solar panels was installed. He also fitted a special ventilation system that reuses the heat of the extracted air to heat the fresh incoming air and saves about 90% of the energy.
Following the completion of the conversion, Claus joined the national network of Superhomes (www.superhomes.org.uk). This is a network of around 200 older homes nationwide, which have been improved to a high standard of energy efficiency with at least 60% of savings. The Superhomes network share the potential of improving homes by showing what has been achieved and give people the opportunity to see the improvements for themselves. Claus’s home, Hay Tor, will be open to visitors on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd September from 12.00 – 4.00pm.
For more information, contact Claus Best on 07410 549781 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Battery storage for properties with solar PV installations has become popular over the past year. Battery storage can make solar PV systems more efficient by storing the surplus energy that is generated during the day and using this in the evenings when the solar system is not generating. But as more systems are being marketed, it can be confusing for customers to choose a system that meets their needs.
Symeco recently became an accredited installer for a new British storage system from Moixa, based in London. The Moixa units offer up to 3kWh of storage and can power lighting circuits in the event of a power cut with some minor modifications to a property’s electrical system.
One of the smartest aspects of the Moixa units is called GridShare. GridShare pays the owners £50 a year to discharge electricity in times of peak demand on the national grid. This peak demand usually only lasts for several minutes and will not discharge more than 4% of the stored energy.
Symeco installed their first Moixa unit near Kidderminster in Worcestershire, meaning the property’s 7.2kW solar system will be utilised more efficiently and save the customer money.
Richard Bubb of Symeco said “The Moixa battery storage system is very easy to install and offers customers a smart system, designed and built in Britain. Although batter storage systems are still an investment, with electricity costs increasing, it is looking like a very good time to have a system installed. When smart meters are rolled out and energy customers can choose time-of-use tariffs, solar battery storage will be a sound investment to save energy bills”.
For more information about Moixa storage units, click here.
To contact Symeco for details of a storage system tailored to your needs, email Richard Bubb on email@example.com.