Landlords will soon be faced with even more legislation as of 2018. The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards 2018 will come into force in April and state that any properties rented out in the private rented sector must have a minimum energy performance rating of E on their Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)*. Though there are few exemptions to this circumstance, generally it will be deemed unlawful to rent out a property with an EPC rating below E. This new legislation will apply to all new lets and renewals commencing on or after April 1st 2018 and from 1st April 2020 for all existing tenancies. It’s important to note that landlords in breach of these mandatory changes could be faced with a civil penalty of up to £4,000. With the scrapping on tenant fee’s set to come into force next year also; this is an additional loss that landlords cannot afford to make. Nevertheless, there are an array of simple, yet effective, government recommended changes that landlords can make to their property in order to comply with the enforced Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards 2018. Some of these proposed changes consist of installing thermostat room heaters, heating control systems (for wet central heating systems and warm air systems) and also hot water control systems (including timers and temperature control). Talking Assets prides themselves on the development of cost effective devices and systems that satisfy requirements in line with tenant and landlord needs as well as government enforced legislation. It is the contrasting landscape of energy efficiency in the UK that has fathomed Talking Assets to broaden their line of STREAM products.
About STREAM: STREAM refers to a range of devices and systems that are designed to effectively monitor and manage all heating and hot water related issues to a property. Encompassed into that is the ability to restrict flow, conduct volumetric and temperature measurements, remote temperature control for tenants and also the option for tenants and landlords to view (in real time and historic) data on usage.
- Automatic Filling Valve: This device combats any potential drops in pressure as a result of boiler refill requirement by automatically refilling to the desired pressure. As a result, there would be no disruption to a tenant’s hot water supply and water pressure. Furthermore, this may result in a reduction in the number of callouts to a property for boiler related issues.
- Boiler Control Module: This device can be used to report on a boiler’s current state and health. This data can be viewed by the tenants, landlords and relevant personnel via a supporting app.
- ThermoDOT: This can be used to measure temperature in individual zones throughout a property to allow effective heating control deployment. Landlords can use this information to implement effective temperature control and energy efficient solutions to property.
- Water isolation valve: This device can be used to restrict flow when necessary and report volumetric measurements. This will give landlords complete insight into to consumption to each individual property where multiple properties use one central boiler for supply.
- Isolation valve: This will allow for flow and volumetric rates to be measured to a property, additional features allow for the valves to test for legionella presence in water. This allows landlords to ensure water supply to a property is safe for consumption.
App for tenants: All devices work in conjunction with an app to allow remote control of devices and full insight into device data and stats – live and historical. The possibilities are limitless, with other device ranges in developments and production for full control and automation over a property. The app allows these other devices to easily and quickly integrate into the existing system.
Aside from the upcoming regulations in relation to EPC, these devices also satisfy a number of legislative requirements outlined in the Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014. Key areas of legislation that apply:
- Duty to install meters to a property:
- “Where there is more than one final customer in a building supplied by a district heat network or by communal heating, the heat supplier must ensure that meters are installed to measure the consumption of heating, cooling or hot water by each final customer” (see Boiler Control Module and Water Isolation Valve).
- “Where a meter is installed, the heat supplier must ensure that temperature control devices are installed to enable the control of consumption of heating or cooling by a final customer from that district heat network or communal heating” (see App).
- “Where a meter is installed it must accurately measure, memorise and display the consumption of heating, cooling or hot water by a final customer” (see Boiler Control Module, ThermoDOT and App)
Furthermore, much recent literature surrounding energy efficiency, has echoed the importance and prevalence of having hydraulic interface units (HIU’s) installed into complexes with multiple dwellings opposed to each individual dwelling having its own boiler. Therefore, it will become quintessential for buildings of this nature to be equipped with good and effective heating control systems to monitor and control consumption from individual dwellings.
Government recommendations for achieving this include the installation of the following control systems, where centralised heating is present:
- Thermostatic radiator valves: facilitates control over individual radiators.
- Electronic room thermostats: replacing manual thermostats to allow more flexibility in temperature control, including remote control and the ability to have the heating set at different temperatures, at different intervals of the day.
- Hydraulic interface unit: replacing individual boilers in dwellings, using a centralised heating system where control and measurement over hot water supply can be done from the mains in each dwelling.
Remaining compliant with simple and cost-effective devices and systems poses the only feasible solution in an industry swamped with ever evolving and mounding legislation. Allowing tenants complete clarity and control over their energy consumption and landlords the ability to avoid penalty charges and regain capital through effective energy monitoring, managing and deployment