How energy legislation could affect your business
How energy-efficient is your restaurant?
‘Green Law’ is the latest buzz-word sweeping the hospitality industry. It is extremely important that business-owners familiarise themselves with green legislation and plan for the future now.
In a recent poll conducted at its April Business Club event, Gregg Latchams found that 38% of businesses in the Bristol area are still unaware of the Energy Act 2011 — This Act has introduced a raft of energy saving measures including the government’s Green Deal policies.
The act has implications for any business with property. Some of the provisions have already come into force while others will become law over the next few years. Key points are:
- Landlords will have to ensure their properties meet minimum levels of energy efficiency.
- Landlords of some domestic premises will have to comply with requests from tenants to improve a property’s energy efficiency.
- The Green Deal will allow energy efficiency improvements to be made at no up-front cost, with repayments made via energy bills.
A fifth of respondents (20%) said they did not know whether the changes would affect their businesses, with 65% saying they would have an impact and 15% saying they would have no effect.
In addition, half of the respondents were unable to say whether the changes would have a negative or positive effect. However, 44% said the Act is good news for their business and an impressive 76% said it would bring business opportunities for them.
The survey prompted a number of interesting responses — with one business owner asking: “Will EPCs (Energy Performance Certificates) continue to be the benchmark for regulation? DECs (Display Energy Certificates) provide a more accurate measure of actual energy performance — rather than theoretical.” Another questioned whether the legislation would have any impact on empty shops in the high street given that energy improvements may not be seen as cost-effective by some property owners.
The Gregg Latchams view
Richard Hill, Managing Partner and Head of Commercial Property says “These proposed changes will affect buildings with F and G EPC ratings but we believe there is a strong possibility that buildings in the D and E rating brackets will be monitored next. Any businesses with property should consider how to reduce energy consumption and implement changes over the next five years in order to protect commercial investments. We are also concerned that the Government has chosen the EPC as the benchmark for rating, that the accuracy and reliability of these will be critical to a building’s investment value.
It is very encouraging to note that three quarters of those polled expect to create opportunities for their businesses as a result of the green agenda. Above all, businesses need to understand the financial implications of this green legislation and plan now.”
- The specialist Green Law team at Gregg Latchams can help businesses assess the challenges and opportunities that the Energy Act 2011 brings.
- We plan to hold an event on sustainability and green law in November 2013 in partnership with Sustainability Plus Europe Limited.
For more information on Green Law and its implications on your business contact:
Gregg Latchams LLP
7 Queen Square
Bristol BS1 4JE
T: +44 (0)117 9069 422
F: +44 (0)117 9069 470