Energy Performance of Buildings
As things stand in England and Wales, it will become illegal to let residential or commercial properties that do not meet a minimum EPC rating of E by April 2018.
Scotland, meanwhile, is expected to follow suit shortly with similar, and perhaps even stricter, legislation.
So why are landlords still struggling to prepare for the deadline?
New research from GVA has revealed some worrying trends, most strikingly that 70% of property investors are not planning to dispose or retrofit their properties ahead of the deadline.
Finance, naturally, would appear to play a huge part in this, with one third of respondents voicing their belief that the current poor market conditions have caused a lessening of importance towards sustainability issues by investors – despite the potential consequences.
Now more than ever, landlords are under increasing pressure to get their refurbishment plans right given failure to do so may make tenant retention an impossibility.
Knowing where to start is also a major issue. Many landlords are unsure of the best practices for building assessment and unwilling to proceed until they see others set the way.
That’s why infrared thermal imaging services are vitally important in this era of cost cutting and confusion.
By cost effectively and visually revealing everywhere a property is losing heat, thermal images give property owners 100% confidence in the areas they are targeting. Our patented Envision software, meanwhile, is the only tool on the market capable of quantifying the energy loss, meaning landlords are given a concrete ROI on potential refurbishments.
The technology is coming to the fore at a time when innovation is most needed. While traditional surveying techniques are expensive, destructive and time consuming (and produce results that are, although well informed, ultimately speculative), infrared thermal imaging and Envision together give landlords a clear ‘diet plan’ to follow in order to ensure their building’s future compliance with legislation. Crucially, there is no need to uproot tenants while images are being captured.
It’s hoped that such innovation in energy measurement will prompt landlords into being more pro-active in improving the energy efficiency of their buildings by visually presenting them with a clear and concise starting point.
GVA’s ‘Green to Gold’ survey also revealed that 55% of the respondents do not assign monetary values for sustainability within their investment appraisals, while the vast majority (80%) stated valuers did not adequately reflect sustainability within their reports.
Furthermore, when measuring the importance of sustainability issues to occupiers, 69% of respondents believed sustainability issues were of ‘some importance’, yet only 10% regarded them to be “very important”. Perhaps most surprisingly, despite the introduction of the Energy Act 2011, this figure has decreased from 20% in 2010.
Such apathy and uncertainty is sure to present problems in the future, particularly as the scramble to install energy efficiency measures intensifies closer to the deadline.
That’s why the most forward thinking landlords are acting now, cost effectively assessing their stock with infrared thermography to give them the knowledge needed to approach the future with confidence.
If you are interested in finding out more about the technology then check out our case studies.