Housing Specification Blog

Tenants look to landlords for better energy saving solutions in the home

May 3, 2013 Alexandra Blakeman Housing Issues

Michelle Giles, Head of Carbon and Energy at Imserv claims that tenants will soon be holding their landlords to account over energy saving solutions for their home. As one of the UK’s largest energy management providers, Imserv will be holding a webinar on 11 June advising landlords on how to benefit from eco legislation. Housing Specification asked Michelle a few questions about how both tenant and landlord can make the most of energy efficient installations for their property.

Landlords and tenants are a two-way partnership, how are you going to use the webinar to convince both parties that energy saving solutions carry benefits for both?

  • As with all partnerships communication is the key. Neither can be stubborn to the others plight.
  • Consumers need to see the value in the offering

With energy consumption both parties have control of the overall expenditure. Tenants determine how and when they use energy, and landlords impact the degree of energy used based on the buildings structure and facilities.

When there is choice in the market consumers will levitate to what they believe is the best deal for them. Location and size cannot be changed, but the service experience, flexibility and additional support can be.

Reviewing energy efficiency should be a win win for the landlord. They are improving the value of their asset while passing on the immediate benefit to their customers.

As with all investments, the landlord must install the right solution. There is no point putting a top of the range kitchen in a domestic let or high tec reception in an office if the client is not going to pay indirectly for that investment.The same with energy efficiency, there is no point installing a 30 meter wind turbine for an inner city corner shop .

Putting the right solution in to a building can not only be cost effective but gives the tenant a realistic drop in energy cost and making the difference in choosing one let over another.

Aside from the Green Deal, how else can landlords prove (visibly to the tenant) that they support energy efficient installations?

It is important for landlords to review the right solution for their buildings and tenants. The Green Deal is a great opportunity to find funding where no other loans are available, this can therefore help to support cash flow. However, there are some strings attached. You must use an accredited installer and product, this accreditation needs to be paid for. Also, the overall loan value is over 6% which may or may not be the most competitive finance option. However, when combined with renewable payment schemes such as the Feed In Tariff and Renewable Heat incentive for energy producing equipment, this could actually end up creating revenue.

Landlords must ensure that the current technology is right before looking at alternative energy. For example, simple steps should be made such as ensuring the building is properly insulated and taking steps to remove general wastage before any fabric investments are made. Why spend tens of thousands on saving 10% from your energy bills when awareness of wastage and steps to control switches could have achieved the same results? That’s why understanding how and when the tenant is using energy is key, this can only be done but obtaining regular consumption readings from automated meters to create a full report.

Consumption information is key to working out a business case to create a tailored response. This also provides the landlord with information to help communicate energy trends to the tenant so they can understand the building and help to reduce wastage.

In addition there are a number of online data providers that could provide the landlord and the tenants with access to this data via the internet helping the tenant with their own energy saving initiatives as well as corporate responsibility and sustainable objectives.

How can landlords ensure they’re making the best investment for their money?

  •  Those little meter reading numbers are again the key.
  • As with all business cases you need to know the status quo position and the benefits of change.

Knowing how much energy you are using and when prior to making any energy saving investment is key to understanding whether an upfront investment and reduced bills is a good investment. If a technology is going to payback in 50 years then there are very few people who are going to see the benefits of that investment.

Data also has the ability to be able to track those pre install claims to see if that “30% saving” sales pitch saving is really achievable.

Tell Housing Specification readers a little more about the benefits of IMServ’s Control 10.

IMServ Europe is one of the UK’s largest independent energy management providers of end to end energy services including metering installation, automated energy consumption reading and online Energy  Management software (EDV) giving commercial  landlords and tenants control of all of their buildings from a single internet browser.

We recently launched IMServ Control 10. A stand-alone, programmable monitoring and control device designed specifically for building energy management of smaller premises. Control 10 allows landlords to control lighting and heating to only be activated when the tenant requires and in the case of heating to the desired temperature.

The controller is a versatile solution for achieving energy savings, offering both a wired and a wireless solution. Data can be monitored using the controller’s own interface or IMServ’s Energy DataVision (EDV) platform. Customers can log into the EDV system to see their aM&T data coming from their controllers. In addition to data from other meters such as gas, electricity, water, oil, etc. The controller is also capable of storing data for trend and event logging for a period of 30 days.

Energy savvy clients have seen large reductions in their energy consumption even where employee energy awareness campaigns to “turn off lights” have been in place.

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