Green Deal Assessments no longer required for Domestic RHI applications

DECC has recently published a paper on amendments being made to the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive scheme. One of the key changes is the removal of the requirement to have a Green Deal Assessment. The paper states:

‘Currently we require applicants to the domestic RHI to have a Green Deal Assessment (GDA). This is to provide them with information about the efficiency measures that are suitable for their homes. This initially applied to all applicants but Registered Social Landlords were made exempt from this requirement in February 2015.

It was announced in July 2015 that there would be no further funding to the Green Deal Financing Company. This, alongside consistent feedback that a GDA is an unnecessary burden to scheme participants, has resulted in us changing the Regulations by removing the need for a GDA as an eligibility requirement for the Domestic RHI. Applicants will still need to meet minimum insulation requirements of loft and cavity wall insulation and provide a valid EPC that is no more than 24 months old’.

These changes come into force on 24th March 2016.

The Forthcoming Changes to Building Regulations Part L

The recent UK Budget has reinforced the government’s commitment to sticking with its target of achieving zero carbon homes by 2016 (Paragraph – 1.109). They also announced a response will be given to the energy efficiency requirements in buildings regulations ‘Part L’ by May 2013.

However, the government’s overall goal to achieve zero carbon may provide challenging as it has already missed its own target to provide a revised document Part L by April 2013, which, would have given the industry six months to prepare for the changes. This has caused confusion if to weather the announcement in May will also be enforced in October or if another consultation will be required after May.

Overall, for the government to achieve its target ministers need to decide swiftly.

Build Tight and Ventilate Right

Whilst preforming air pressure tests and extractor fan tests we get asked ‘Why do I need to achieve a low air leakage test result but ensure they the property is ventilated right’. Traditionally, many of the UK housing stock rely on ventilation through air leakages, which, is uncontrollable to the occupants. In addition, ventilation through air leakages will not ensure the correct ventilation of a property as it could have excessive ventilation or under ventilation rates; both can cause an increase in energy consumption and the build-up of pollutants.     

Therefore, each dwelling must be compliant with Building Regulations Part F to ensure the correct number of background ventilation is provided and to ensure extractor fan units achieve the minimum flow rate, without relying on air leakage.

Book your extractor fan test and domestic air tightness test together and we can provide a reduction in price.

Top Tips! Ensure Compliance with Building Regulations Part F with Extract Testing

Mould and dampness are only a few side effects of the incorrectly specified extract system, however, to prevent this we now provide the testing of all purpose designed ventilation systems including trickle vents and cooker hoods to ensure compliance with building regulations part F. We are aware of pressures currently placed on both architects and builders to stay compliant with the numerous areas of building regulations and we are determined to make the process easy to understand and to provide specialist advice on how best achieve compliance for the current / future building regulation part F.   

Top tips to achieve compliance 

  1. At least one trickle vent per window or two for a double window etc.
  2. The shortest possible ductwork length
  3. Prevent blockage of the ductwork. 
  4. The installation of modest / high power extracts.
  5. At least a 10mm undercut for each internal door.
  6. Don’t necessarily believe the flow rate provided by the manufacture.
  7. If you are uncertain about anything ring us!

Book your extract and air tightness test together and we provide a discounted price.

For more information on extract testing or the requirements regarding Building Regulation Part F please do not hesitate to contact us of 01476 870 504, contact info@ashbyenergy.co.uk or visit the planning portal.

 

September 2012

We have successfully installed 4 kWp Solar PV; the PV currently produces all electricity to the house during the day which runs our appliances. We are currently feeling the benefits  and if we continually use them correctly we can significantly reduce our electricity bills by only using high consumption appliances during daylight hours, therefore, minimising the amount of electricity taken from the grid.

 However, with the property being a grade two listed barn we encountered issues regarding the location of our solar panels as they were not allowed on the roof, however, we agreed with the council they could be placed in the field to the rear of the property.

In addition, the garage is nearly completed and should be finished next month. 

PV’s & FITS

The below is an extract from the letter issued by DCLG today.

It has been brought to DCLG’s attention that some Domestic Energy Assessors (DEAs) have received correspondence containing the following, or similar, text:

“We have obtained your details from the National Database as we have an EPC job in your postcode area.

We have an EPC instruction for a property that is about to have Solar Panels installed.

The required procedure is as follows; You will be required to issue a draft EPC initially as if the Panels had been installed.

Please record the Roof Orientation, Roof Slope and Overshading The kWp figure will be supplied for you.

Following completion of the PV installation we will provide the MCS Certificate and a photograph of the panels in order for you to lodge the EPC.

Your invoice can be submitted for immediate payment following the initial survey. You will not be required to return to the property.”

The Department does not consider any EPC that has been produced in line with the instructions contained in this or similar correspondence to be compliant with the Scheme Operating Requirements as it appears to allow an EPC to be produced without a visit to a site where the presence of the PV panel can be verified by the EA. Schemes shall, with immediate effect, consider DEAs who are found to have produced EPCs in line with these instructions to have committed a serious breach of the Code of Conduct and shall take appropriate disciplinary action. This requirement shall not however be retrospective.

Schemes shall require DEAs to produce EPCs on the basis of the evidence about the physical characteristics of the building at the time that the visual inspection is carried out. Schemes shall ensure that any documentary evidence provided by DEAs about work that has been carried out in relation to the physical characteristics of the building only concerns work that was complete at the time of the visual inspection. Schemes shall not permit DEAs to use evidence that relates to work carried out after the visual inspection.

We appreciate that you may have received differing advice in the past but the message from DCLG is now clear.

It is important that you start complying with the above immediately, as failure to do so could result in a serious breach of the Code of Conduct and disciplinary action taken. we will be working to the above method with effect from the 28th June 2012.

Air testing & its importance for Building Regulations 2013

The continual tightening of Building Regulations Part L since the early 2000’s is designed to push the UK’s new housing stock to zero-carbon by 2016. In April 2013 the latest set of Building Regulations are set to come into affect with a further tightening on carbon emissions, could create, several problems for builders and architects to achieve a pass during SAP process.

To help clients through this process there are a range of tools that the SAP assessors have at their dispense, from Air Source Heat Pumps, Secondary Heating or Solar Panels. However, these may not always be suitable options and could be costly solutions. The easiest and most cost effective solution is to arrange an air test with an accredited company who can easily guide you towards a low air test figure of 5. (For information on why a score of 5 please click here) The cost of an air test with a skilled air tester is likely to cost approx £200 depending on location and size of the property, against the cost of installing solar panels or secondary heating which potentially cost £1000+.

For more information on how to stay ahead of Building Regulation April 2013 and the chance to visit a free seminar with our Senior Air tester please continually visit our website, or follow us on Twitter.   

 

         

 

 

June 2012

We have finally moved into our new house despite some work still being required to the rear of the property. However, the mild UK summer has turned our attention to the garage and the remaining work to the main house resuming during autumn or winter. The garage will have significant space for both our vehicles and for general garage clutter.

In keeping with our aim of creating a zero carbon house we have ambitions to install PV in the field to the rear. The electricity generated from the PV will reduce the running cost of our house and potentially help the house become a net contributor of energy.