As of 2016, the UK is the third largest boiler market in the world, with more than 26 million installed boilers in the country.
Boilers are known to consume far more energy than any other household appliances, particularly if they are old and worn out. An outdated central heating system wastes energy and leads to a higher overall utility expenditure and even an increased risk of respiratory problems in the winter. Not to mention the carbon dioxide emissions they produce, which pose a significant environmental impact.
In order to meet their ambitious energy-saving target of 20% by 2020, the EU has released multiple directives to control its carbon footprint. Due to their prevalence and high energy usage, commercial and domestic boilers are the focus of some of the most stringent of these new regulations.
As much as regular maintenance is important to keep your commercial boiler’s performance at an optimal level, compliance with energy standards should equally be taken into account. If not, your tenancy rate and business are at stake. We’ve broken down everything you need to know about the new EU energy standards, and how you can meet them.
What Do The Energy Standard Regulations Require?
With a few weeks shy of 2018, new energy efficiency regulations are soon coming into force. The Government’s Energy Act sets the timeline as follows:
- 1 April 2018. Landlords of privately rented non-domestic properties cannot grant new tenancies or renew existing ones if their Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is below E.
- 1 April 2023. Property owners cannot let their building to existing tenants nor allow new lets and renewals if they do not meet the minimum EPC of E.
EPC is a rating of how energy-efficient a property is and this is determined through an energy survey conducted by an accredited Non-Domestic Energy Assessor. Items such as loft insulation, hot water tank, radiators, and commercial boiler are examined and energy efficiency is scored on a scale of A to G, A being the highest. Recommendations to improve the rating are also provided by the assessors.
The bad news is that real estate services company Cushman & Wakefield claims that around 20% of commercial buildings in England and Wales may not be able to comply with the requirement in time for 2018.
How Does That Affect You?
The pressure is mounting for owners who still use old boilers in their properties.
The regulation simply states that privately rented properties will be operating illegally if the minimum energy standard is not followed.
Landlords will be sanctioned if the said standards were not complied with and if the illegal tenancy persists for less than 3 months, a fine of £5,000 up to a maximum of £50,000 will be imposed. After 3 months of non-compliance, the penalty can range from £10,000 to £150,000. Non-compliance may also lead to the devaluation of your property and if you’re seeking to acquire a loan from the bank, that will pose a big problem.
While other directives are already in place, they are usually mainly addressed to commercial boiler manufacturers and sellers. One example is the Energy Labelling Regulation. It requires space and water heaters above 70kW to display standard product information. On the other hand, the Ecodesign Directive states that only gas and water boilers that are run with condensation technology may be sold in the EU. This led to the widespread use of condensing boilers in the UK market. In fact, almost all boilers sold in 2016 are the gas condensing type.
These regulations will have a positive impact on property and business owners. Condensing boilers are said to be 50% more efficient than regular ones. This will translate to thousands of pounds worth of savings on electricity bills.
However, none is as pressing as complying with the Energy Act’s minimum standards. With April 2018 coming sooner than later, landowners and proprietors must start checking on their energy consumption, particularly their commercial broilers’. Delaying it may come at a cost, and you face the risk of losing existing clients and missing out on your prospects.
Does Your Commercial Boiler Comply?
There are a variety of factors that define commercial boiler efficiency. Some of them are:
- Type and design
- Ignition system
- Burner control
- The weather’s impact on the boiler’s load
- System controls
- Frequency of maintenance
With many dynamics to consider and the deadline fast approaching, property owners may find themselves overwhelmed. Here is a recommended plan of action to help you out.
1. Check your EPC
Do you have an EPC in place? If yes, take a look at your property’s EPC. Is it above or below E? Although the minimum standard is set at E, it is best to place at A, B, or C.
2. Review your leases
If you’re a landowner who rents out your property, review the status of your tenancies. Are they up for renewal soon? Are there vacancies in your building, of which may be rented out in the near future?
These are key questions to ask yourself, so you can see the urgency of acting upon your EPC. If you have plenty of tenants who will be renewing their contracts around April 2018, you must make sure that you comply with the standard or else you risk losing your clients.
And if you’re looking forward to renting out your spaces, your EPC must be up and ready. With a directive in place, business owners first take a look at properties’ EPC before starting their tenancy.
3. Make the necessary actions according to your review
If you have no EPC, immediately look for an approved Energy Assessor. If your rating needs improving, contact Bristol plumbers to set an efficient water system in place. You may also consult with heating solutions experts to see what can be done for your property. They may install new commercial boilers and if this is unnecessary, they can service your equipment to enhance their performance.
Leaving the job to the experts will help you comply with the energy regulations, saving you from headache and avoidable costs. The usual process includes a site audit, performance testing, reporting, implementation, and maintenance.
With a thorough review of your boiler’s efficiency, Bristol plumbers and engineers will be able to give appropriate recommendations and give way to a smooth implementation. With that, you and your property will be ready well before the deadline.