Compelling reasons for development and maintenance teams to work together

There are ever more compelling reasons for development and maintenance teams to work together. It is well known that social housing maintenance and asset management teams are a different species from providers’ development teams. They have different operating environments; different challenges, and constraints; even quite different cultures; and often they do not share an office. Their objectives are however the same: to ensure that their tenants and residents are securely and comfortably housed. At the HCA’s Construction Forum in February this year, we heard from the Spectrum Housing Group on how it integrates new build development with maintenance – see the ‘Construction Forum 2014’ news article on the HCA website.

 

There are ever more compelling reasons for development and maintenance teams to work together. It is well known that social housing maintenance and asset management teams are a different species from providers’ development teams. They have different operating environments; different challenges, and constraints; even quite different cultures; and often they do not share an office. Their objectives are however the same: to ensure that their tenants and residents are securely and comfortably housed. At the HCA’s Construction Forum in February this year, we heard from the Spectrum Housing Group on how it integrates new build development with maintenance – see the ‘Construction Forum 2014’ news article on the HCA website.

Improving the energy efficiency of the housing stock is a key objective for asset management as well as for development personnel. The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) published the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme for domestic consumers on 9 April.

The scheme will be administered by Ofgem and there is useful information about RHI domestic scheme on the Ofgem website. Eligible heating systems include: Biomass only boilers; biomass pellet stoves with integrated boilers; air source heat pumps; ground source heat pumps; and solar thermal panels (flat plate or evacuated tube only). Registered social landlords are eligible to apply.

A number of social housing providers have already received payments under the RHI Premium Payments (RHIPP). Systems installed up to two years ago will be eligible, with a phased approval of such ‘legacy schemes’.

Finally, it may be useful to social landlords to know that landlords are eligible to claim Green Deal Cashback: see www.gdcashback.decc.gov.uk/. Amounts under this scheme include up to £270 for upgrading a boiler to a condensing boiler, or £650 for solid wall insulation. Other measures eligible for cash-back include upgrading from single glazing, or secondary glazing; floor insulation; and flat roof insulation. A Green Deal Assessment has to be carried out, and measures must be installed by a Green Deal Installer: but green deal finance does not have to be used, and the costs can be paid up front. Green Deal Cashback is subject to State Aid de minimis rules: it’s limited to 200,000 euros (about £160,000) over three consecutive years.

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