Trainrebuild: Getting ready for the Green Deal

The NLA’s Senior Policy Officer, David Cox, tells us about a pan European project the NLA is working on to promote the Green Deal.
The NLA’s Senior Policy Officer, David Cox, tells us about a pan European project the NLA is working on to promote the Green Deal.

The NLA’s Senior Policy Officer, David Cox, tells us about a pan European project the NLA is working on to promote the Green Deal.

Last Wednesday the NLA, together with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), delivered the second Trainrebuild energy efficiency seminar.

To help landlords to make informed decisions about which energy efficiency improvements to undertake and how to finance them, the NLA and Royal Institute for Chartered Surveyors (RICS) have spent the last two years creating a three-hour training seminar; TrainRebuild. The seminar explains how to improve the energy efficiency of your properties; what are the most cost-effective measures to install and how to utilise the forthcoming Green Deal.

The project has received great interest from UK landlords; in fact, over 200 people subscribed to this event alone.  And whilst energy efficiency is a real interest of mine, I wasn’t sure what interest the Trainrebuild sessions would generate, particularly as there is still much to be done to raise awareness of the Green Deal. So as you can imagine, I was delighted to receive so many requests to attend and it’s encouraging to see such appetite to learn about the Green Deal.

For the 50 landlords in attendance, the session answered many questions and for those who missed out on this occasion, there will be many other opportunities to hear how you can make full use of the Green Deal in advance of the minimum energy standards required in 2018.

The day began with an introduction from me on behalf of the NLA and an overview of the project from Zsolt Toth of RICS.
David Cox, Senior Policy Officer at the NLA sets the scene

The day began with an introduction from me on behalf of the NLA and an overview of the project from Zsolt Toth of RICS. This set the scene for the Trainrebuild event: as you may be aware, the European Union have set clear targets to ensure that we create a low carbon economy.

The Government’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has proposed a plan to ensure all properties in the UK perform to an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) E rating by April 2018.

Cutting carbon
Cutting carbon

To help the UK meet these targets, the Government has launched the Green Deal. Under the Green Deal, the cost of energy efficiency improvements, such as loft and wall insulation, will be paid through a loan attached to the property’s energy bills. However, due to the energy savings achieved by the improvements, the energy bill will never be higher than it would have been if the work had not been carried out.

To make the UK’s properties more energy efficient the private-rented sector, social-rented sector and home owners must all work together to do their bit.

The afternoon session of the Trainrebuild session set out to outline how landlords can make changes to their properties.

This section included information on Green Deal providers, the financing mechanisms available and details of Green Deal assessments, the kinds of energy efficiency improvements available and new look EPCs.

With a lot of new information to take in, there were understandably many questions.

Question time
Question time

One landlord asked:

“Must I use the Green Deal to make energy improvements?”

This is certainly not the case, the landlord can of course fund the improvements themselves or can take advantage of energy efficiency grants.

Another landlord suggested:

“Might it be better to hold off taking advantage of the Green Deal and conducting any improvements closer to the 2018 deadline when there are more providers?”

It is of course up to the individual, but with the £200,000,000 Early Uptake Fund as a financial incentive, it could be better to get started early. After all, properties must perform to at least an Energy Performance Certificate E rating by April 2018 or they cannot be legally let.

Whilst many questions were answered, the session may have raised other questions for the landlords to consider, such as ‘How do I preserve my listed property?’ or ‘Will my tenants agree to disruptive work’.  These questions will be answered as we begin the Green Deal journey but until then, take a look at our Green Deal campaign page to find out how the scheme will work.

The NLA plans to run more Green Deal training sessions so keep an eye out for dates.

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