Is The Green Deal Working?
According to a recent report published on the BBC website “only four people have so far signed up to a flagship government scheme to make homes more energy-efficient”. Four !!
The report further explained that The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said just four households have “pending” green deal plans, although there was every expectation that numbers would increase when more finance initiatives became available.
So does this come as any great surprise? Is the idea of capital outlay in the forms of loans against the property with a payback period of several years appeal? Clearly not at this stage although perhaps a targeted marketing campaign to make more people aware of what is happening may help. Unfortunately however there may also be a sense of frustration with householders receiving numerous annoying unsolicited phone calls about insulation products and how “you can get cheap deals on home improvements”.
But as far as the commercial property market is concerned this should start to ring alarm bells. There may be, to some degree, some complacency about having to improve building efficiency and some landlords could be putting off the inevitable, hoping that tenants pick up the bills? In any event commercial property owners, owners of industrial units, warehouse buildings, offices and retail units, who have buildings that fall into EPC categories F or G will have major problems.
1 April 2018 is the problem and that’s only 4 ½ years away. Not long when you consider that in some cases improvement works to buildings could be extensive. From that date it will unlawful to let a UK commercial property with a rating of F or G. That is fact, simple and straightforward. Ok there may be a few exceptions but generally the legislation is clear in that it places an onus on Landlords to ensure remedial action is taken and completed before the deadline date. We are already seeing signs of banks not being prepared to lend on buildings that fall into the F or G category – that’s NOW and not subject to works being completed.
Answer – get the EPC carried out now, review the recommendations and act before the legislation bites.