Joint session explains Green Deal

Members of the CPD Foundation have been told of the importance of The Green Deal and Minimum Energy Standards in a joint session delivered by Peter Williams, Eversheds real estate property support lawyer and Ruth Gilbody, commercial director at Towcester-based environmental consultancy 4See Environmental.

The session covered how the Green Deal is expected to operate, Minimum Energy Standards to be put in place by 2018 and some technical and practical issues around Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs). The Golden Rule, which limits the amount of Green Deal finance a provider can offer to the estimated energy bill savings, was also outlined.

Ruth Gilbody explained to an audience largely made up of property investors and property managers how new legislation will soon mean changes in how EPCs are produced. She also outlined the factors that affect ratings.

Ruth Gilbody also gave advice on why businesses should want to improve their EPC ratings. It would allow them to ‘future-proof’ their operations if they were to ensure that planned refurbishments and fit-outs achieve the required rating.

Said Ruth: “Business as a whole and individuals need to be aware of the increasing level of emphasis being placed on EPC ratings, mostly connected with the recent legislation passed in last year’s Energy Act. From April 2016 residential landlords will not be able to refuse reasonable requests from tenants, or local authorities acting on behalf of tenants, to improve the energy efficiency of their property.

“Also from April 2015 in Scotland, and by April 2018 in England and Wales, it will become unlawful to rent out a house or business premises which have less than a minimum energy efficiency standard. In 2011 the Government indicated that the minimum could be an ‘E’ rated EPC, although this has not yet been confirmed.

“So everyone needs to be aware of the practical implications of the legislation and the requirement to take action before it is too late.”