Are you concerned about upcoming changes to the Government’s energy policy? Responsibility for billing and metering has shifted from utility providers to managing agents. This is all part of the UK’s journey to a net-zero future, which will involve households embracing a wider range of low-carbon energy. As a result, experts predict that 6 million UK homes will run on heat networks by 2050. But what does this policy shift mean for your business? How can you keep your freeholders, their tenants, and their sub-tenants happy while complying with the new BEIS metering and billing rules? Clarity in everything you negotiate and communicate will save you time, money and stress. Here are some stress-relieving tips that will make any property manager’s life significantly easier. Get maximum value from your blocks’ supply and its contacts. Are your mains water, electricity or gas contacts wasting money every month? Make sure the contacts with the utility suppliers are fit for purpose and giving your residents excellent value. Never let contracts expire and go onto out of contract rates, as they’re inordinately high and totally avoidable. Inefficient equipment can send monthly bills skyrocketing completely unnecessarily, so make sure the system has been optimised and is running efficiently. Don’t let compliance slip-ups slow your growth. Notify BEIS of your heat network as soon as you’re connected. Then update them promptly every 4 years to avoid financial penalties and reputational damage for failure to comply. If you want to build trust with residents, dotting your I’s and crossing your T’s is a wonderful place to start. Avoid misunderstandings with your residents. Lots of life’s tensions start as misunderstandings. If you communicate clearly with residents about communal utility arrangements before their leases start, you’ll avoid any confusion over who’s responsible for what. You’ll also demonstrate that you’re honest and easily approachable. That’s an excellent way to nip any issues in the bud, before they develop into crises. Contractual clarity is essential. Clearly explain contractual arrangements to leaseholders before their tenancies begin. So many disputes start because residents are not fully aware of their responsibilities to freeholders. The risks and liabilities of sub-letting are often also overlooked until disagreements become disputes. Providing detailed written guidance covering everything that residents need to know about their leases makes everyone’s lives easier. This guidance also helps them to protect themselves from losses and bad debts incurred by sub-tenants who fail to pay.