DOMESTIC ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATE
Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) are being introduced to help improve the energy efficiency of buildings, as part of a series of measures being introduced across Europe to reflect legislation which will help cut buildings' carbon emissions and tackel climate change.
If you are buying or selling a home you now need a certificate by law. From October 2008 EPC's will be requied whenever a building is built, sold or rented out. The certificate provides 'A' to 'G' rating for the building, with 'A' being the most energy efficient and 'G' being the least, with the average up to now being 'D'.
Measures recommended in the epc could save the average consumer £300 a year off their fuel bills, according to the Energy Saving Trust.
With EPC's being introduced today - giving home-buyers a home energy rating, the system will make easier for consumers to get grants to make the improvements recommended in the certificate.
For the first time , the six major energy companies have agreed that when buyers move into their home and sign to an energy contract they will get immediate access and information about 'green' grants or offers to consumers. This follows talks with the Government and will help them make their homes more environmentally friendly and cut fuel bills.
In addition, the scheme will include a new portal on the Energy Saving Trust's website where consumers only need to tap in their postcode to find details of offers available. Once fully rolled out it is estimated that the energy cerificates would save nearly a million tonnes of carbon per year by 2020. Consumers who choose to give details from the EPC to suppliers will also recieve targeted offers for recommendations in their certificate. This information will not be used for any other purpose and cannot be given to anyone else by the supplier.
For advice on how to take action and to find out about offers available to help make your home more energy efficient, call free on 0800 512 012 or visit www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/
DEA Domestic Energy Assessor
DEA is a licenced Domestic Energy Assessor, a person who has undergone specific training in energy performance of buildings using RdSAP methodology. RdSAP is an acronym for Reduced Data Standard Assessment Procedure.
This method is used for smaller domestic dwellings whereas full SAP is applied to new build homes.
The DEA's job encompasses a number of areas.
The data required to allow the calculation of an EPC includes the following:
2.Number of storeys.
4.Property dimensions including average floor to ceiling heights.
5.Presence and size of heated conservatories.
6.Wall construction and any areas that are of an alternative construction.
7.Roof construction and whether there is a room in the roof.
8.Openings (windows and doors) and their age.
9.Percentage double glazed.
10.Number of open fireplaces.
11.Heating system – type and fuel used.
12.Boiler (manufacturer, model and ID number)
13.Heating controls – room stats, programmer, etc.
14.Presence of secondary heating sources – i.e., focal point heaters, such as a coal effect gas fire.
15.Water heating system and if applicable capacity and insulation for hot water cylinder.
16.Electricity & Gas meter.
17.Type of lights.
How long is your Domestic EPC valid for? Domestic EPC’s are valid for 10 years.
ACT ON Co2
www.carbontrust.co.uk / 0800 085 2005
Energy Saving Trust™
www.energysavingtrust.org.uk / 0800 512 012
The Energy Efficiency Partnership for Homes
www.eeph.org.uk / 020 7222 0101
GAS SAFETY CERTIFICATE
Who is a landlord?
In relation to domestic gas under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 (GS(IU)R 98), a landlord is anyone who rents out a property that they own under a lease that is shorter than 7 years or under a licence . Regardless of whether you are a landlord under GS(IU)R 98 you may be considered a landlord under other related legislation.
Landlords' duties apply to a wide range of accommodation, occupied under a lease or licence , which includes, but not exclusively:
residential premises provided for rent by local authorities, housing associations, private sector landlords, housing co-operatives, hostels
rooms let in bed-sit accommodation, private households, bed and breakfast accommodation and hotels
rented holiday accommodation such as chalets, cottages, flats, caravans and narrow boats on inland waterways.
Further details are given in HSC's Approved Code of Practice 'Safety in the installation and use of gas systems and appliances' which can be ordered through HSE books.
What are my duties as a landlord in relation to gas safety?
You have duties under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 to arrange maintenance by a Gas Safe Registered engineer for all pipe work, appliances and flues, which you own and have provided for your tenants use. You must also arrange for an annual gas safety check to be carried out every 12 months by a Gas Safe Registered engineer. You must keep a record of the safety check for 2 years and issue a copy to each existing tenant within 28 days of the check being completed and issue a copy to any new tenants before they move in.
What are my duties as a letting/ management agent in relation to gas safety?
Landlords who use agents to manage properties need to ensure that the management contract clearly specifies who is responsible for carrying out the maintenance and safety check duties, and keeping associated records. If the contract specifies that the agent has responsibility then the same duties under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 that apply to a landlord apply to you.
In this situation an agent must arrange maintenance by a Gas Safe Registered engineer for all pipe work, appliances and flues, which the landlord owns and provides for the tenants use. You must also arrange for an annual gas safety check to be carried out every 12 months by a Gas Safe Registered engineer. You must keep a record of the safety check for 2 years and issue a copy to each existing tenant within 28 days of the check being completed and issue a copy to any new tenants before they move in.
Unsafe gas appliances produce a highly poisonous gas called carbon monoxide (CO). It can cause death as well as serious long term health problems such as brain damage.
Remember the six main symptoms to look out for:
6. Loss of consciousness
Being aware of the symptoms could save your life.
Carbon monoxide symptoms are similar to flu, food poisoning, viral infections and simply tiredness. That’s why it’s quite common for people to mistake this very dangerous poisoning for something else.
Boiler Scrappage Scheme
Get £400 off a new A-rated boiler or renewable heat technology, when you scrap your old, inefficient G-rated boiler-
What is the purpose of the boiler scrappage scheme?
Installing modern boilers
Want help to upgrade your boiler?
Boiler scrappage grant The scheme was launched last month to upgrade up to 125,000 household heating systems in England to cut carbon, save money on fuel bills and sustain work for the heating industry.
Up to 125,000 households in England with working 'G-rated' boilers can apply through the Energy Saving Trust for a voucher. This will entitle them to £400 off the price of a new, modern 'A-rated' boiler or a renewable heating system like a biomass boiler or a heat pump.
All the major energy companies which sell and install boilers (British Gas, E.On, npower and Scottish & Southern) have now matched the offer. These give householders potentially £800 off the cost of a new efficient boiler. Some manufacturing companies are also offering deals.
The Energy Saving Trust (EST) is running the scheme on behalf of the government. Fraser Winterbottom from the Trust said: “We’re extremely pleased with the public’s response to this scheme. Since the scrappage offer was launched the phones have been ringing off the hook, and our call centres have been working hard to process the applications – we’ve had nearly 400,000 calls nationally – an average of 5,000 a day at each of our regional advice centres".
We use registered contractors to ensure that all installations and maintenance are safe and correct.
ELECTRICAL PERIODIC INSPECTION
Electrical hazards are invisible but deadly, causing fires and electrical shock. These hazards are easily preventable if you use an NICEIC to install, inspect and maintain electrical installations.
Government figures estimate that there are around 10 fatal and 2,000 non-fatal electric shock accidents in the home each year. However, there are about 12,500 electrical fires in homes across the UK each year. Although many incidents are caused by faulty appliances rather than the electrical installation itself, a properly installed and well-maintained installation could save lives.
Cables, switches, socket-outlets and other equipment deteriorate with prolonged use, so they all need to be checked and necessary replacements or repairs made in good time.
Whilst it is relatively easy to make an electrical circuit work – it is far more challenging to make the circuit work safely. To avoid the dangers that electricity can create to you and others it is essential that electrical work is carried out only by those with the correct knowledge, skill and experience in the type of electrical work to be undertaken.
Compliance with the Building Regulations in England and Wales is governed by CLG - ensure compliance by using an NICEIC-registered contractor to undertake work covered by Building Regulations.
Ensure compliance to the Building Regulations – always use an NICEIC-registered contractor to undertake work covered by the Building Regulations.
If you are a homeowner or own a rental property, you are responsible for compliance with legally binding Building Regulations.
The Building Regulations apply to building work in England and Wales and set standards for the design and construction of buildings to ensure the health and safety of people in or about those buildings. Equivalent Regulations apply in Scotland under the Building (Scotland) Act 2003.
We use registered contractors to ensure that all installations and maintenance are safe and correct.
INVENTORY HD High-Definition
What is an inventory?
The Inventory is a listing of all the contents of a property and a record of the condition of each item. It’s also referred to as a “schedule of condition“. The form is designed to help monitor the condition of the items before a tenant moves in and just before a tenant leaves, so it can be made clear what damages, if any, need to be paid for.
This is a step often skipped by landlords’ and tenants’, when it really shouldn’t be. An inventory can prevent a lot of disputes between tenants and landlords, so it’s extremely useful.
How is an Inventory prepared?
The Landlord, Letting Agent or an Independent Inventory Clerk should prepare the Inventory which should be agreed with the tenant on move-in day. The Landlord/Agent and tenant(s) should sign the Inventory and initial every page to signify agreement.
Photographic or video evidence of the property contents and condition is optional but often a wise safety net. How thorough you want to be can often depend on how valuable the items in the property are. Obviously the more valuable items like a cooker and washing machine should be captured with imagery, so there is no question of their condition.
Sample of Inventory
STANDARD ASSESSMENT PROCEDURE
Code for Sustainable Homes Assessments
SAP is the Government's Standard Assessment Procedure for Energy Rating of Dwellings. SAP is adopted by government as part of the UK national methodology for calculation of the energy performance of buildings. It is used to demonstrate compliance with building regulations for dwellings - Part L (England and Wales), Section 6 (Scotland) and Part F (Northern Ireland) - and to provide energy ratings for dwellings.
From 6 April 2008 it is law to provide an Energy Performance Certificate for all new and newly built homes that are completed after that date. Regulations have been made under sections 58B and 58C of Finance Act 2003 to permit relief from Stamp Duty Land Tax for zero-carbon new homes. First the dwelling CO2 emissions are calculated as for building regulations compliance. The calculations are then continued as described in the document "SAP 2005 extension for SDLT". The conditions for SDLT relief are:
A. The heat loss parameter must be no greater than 0.8 W/m?K
B. The DER must be no greater than zero
C. The net CO2 emissions must be no greater than zero.
AIR PRESSURE TEST
Our air pressure test service can save you money!
Part L2 of the Building Regulations ( Conservation of fuel and power) has been amended with effecr from 1st april 2006 and now includes a test for Air Leakage.
Building requiring compliance to part L2 with a gross floor area of greater than 500m2 will require an air leakage test carried out in accordance with ATTMA technical standards 1 (2006) and must be shown to leak no more than 10m3/hr/m2@ 50Pa or less than the given in your SAPS calculations.
Despite the legal requirement, an energy efficient building has many advantages, both financially and environmentally.
Houses - Checklist of Items to be completed prior to our arrival on Site Items in Bold font are areas where dwellings usually tend to fail, please check that they are sealed properly before the test.
1. We will require the Design Air Leakage Rate or Air Permeability for the building. For commercial buildings this is generally 10 m3/hour/m2, but can be lower for houses and/or commercial buildings, if requested in the SAP rating reports. If you do not advise of a figure we will assume the maximum allowable figure for Part L1 of 10 m3/hour/m2.
2. We require ONE 240v MAINS powered electrical sockets within 5 metres of EACH of our testing equipment set up.
3. Ensure that the completed building envelope is finished. All doors, windows, and cladding must be installed, or if items, such as glazing are missing, they should be sealed up to prevent air leakage. Please note that temporarily sealing items with tape should be limited to those items detailed in item 5.
4. Seal with tape or cardboard any duct work and mechanical vents to the outside. Pay particular attention to the air conditioning system.
5. Seal all ducts and penetrations where the main services enter the building. We have encountered many tests where a water pipe duct has been left unsealed underneath kitchen units. After services have been installed in the duct, seal the rest of the duct.
6. Seal all SVP and waste pipe penetrations passing through external walls and ceilings. Make sure that the tops, sides & ends of all pipe/SVP boxing’s are sealed to prevent air leaking into the boxing and escaping through SVP/waste pipe penetrations. Bath panels should also be fully sealed.
7. Ensure that all toilets and U bends in sinks have water in them.
8. Ensure all external doors and windows are closed fully and make sure all trickle vents closed but NOT SEALED. Internal doors should be wedged open.
9. All penetrations through floors & ceilings should be sealed.
10. The boiler flue must be sealed where it penetrates walls or ceilings
11. In some houses storage cupboards have been built into the roof space. The doors when closed should seal the room from the roof space. Fit draught excluder if necessary to top, bottom & sides of door/frame
12. In houses constructed from Timber Frame or where DOT & DAB plasterboard has been fixed to the inside face of block work perimeter walls, the gap between the bottom of the plasterboard and floors needs to be sealed at every floor level. Alternatively the gap between the bottom of the skirting board and floor can be sealed with mastic. This prevents air leaking behind the wall board and passing above the ceiling board, into the roof space.
13. Have a competent member of your staff available on the test day to modify and/or seal any further areas that we identify as requiring extra work. A good supply of mastic/decorators caulk and board material etc would be useful in case areas need to be sealed.
14. If the door chosen for the test has a larger opening larger than 1.100m x 2.100m high, you will need to modify the opening to suit our standard template.
(Please call us for advice should this be required.)
15. Whilst we would prefer to have the building empty during the test duration, people can stay in the building whilst the test is in progress. They may not however enter or leave during the test period. (Approx 1/2 hour)
16. We require a parking space for a vehicle within 10 metres of the test location on site.
17. If we arrive on site and are delayed due to the site not being prepared adequately, or the items in this checklist not being completed prior to our arrival, we reserve the right to cancel the test. The full test fee will be payable.
SOUND PRESSURE TEST
From 6 April 2008 it is law to provide a Sound Pressure Test Certificate for all new and newly built properties that are completed after that date.
The best time to carry out sound testing is towards the completion of the project, but before the floor finishes have been applied. In addition the optimum conditions are when the site is quiet. If there is noise on the site from equipment and 'on going works' there is an increased chance of a sound test failure. Housing developers and/or site managers will have to nominate a day for testing and restrict any noisy activity during the tests. The following list provides an indicative checklist for site managers for the requirements of the plots and sites where testing may be carried out.
1. We require accurately dimensioned floor plan layout drawings of the rooms to be tested; AT LEAST 5 WORKING DAYS before the test date.
2. We require a 240v Mains Electric socket in each of the rooms being tested.
3. We will require a clean & quiet working environment for our testing works.
4. Both properties to be tested should be clear of materials and operatives for the test. Access to the properties needs to be restricted whilst the tests are undertaken.
5. Ensure that the completed building envelope is finished. All doors, windows, and cladding must be installed. Make sure that:
- Windows are fully fitted with locks in place.
- Window trickle vents are in place or temporarily blocked up for testing.
- Individual room and front doors are in place and closable.
- All wall surfaces in rooms to be tested are complete (including sockets and switches if applicable).
- Floor and ceiling surface are complete.
- Carpets or timber laminates have NOT been laid in rooms where floors are to be tested
(except for bonded carpet).
6. All of the rooms to be tested will need to be cleared of materials & operatives during the testing.
7. Seal all ducts and penetrations where the main services enter the building.
8. Lift shaft doors are to be kept closed.
9. On our quotation a time is allowed for the test. If, due to the site not being prepared adequately, or the test over runs due to reasons beyond our control, our extra hourly charges would be as stated on our quotation.
10. Have a competent member of your staff available on the test day to ensure that the above items remain in place during the testing period.
11. If we arrive on site and are delayed due to the site not being prepared adequately, or the items in this checklist not being completed prior to our arrival, we reserve the right to cancel the test. The full test fee will be payable.