homenews and insights the social housing service charge conundrum and how achieving net zero is being impacted

The social housing service-charge conundrum and how achieving Net-Zero is being impacted

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By SSE Energy Solutions
11 November 2020

Smart Buildings

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Every month, or quarter, finance teams within residential social landlords (RSL’s) are faced with the challenge of accurately attributing the cost of energy use of both residential dwellings and communal areas. It is an area that causes the most concern and consternation for RSL’s, specifically the service charge manager. So are RSL’s getting it right? Bluntly, many are not, and are simply dividing the number of dwellings by the overall energy cost, be it communal or district heating, and adding it to the service charge.


Our work with many housing associations, along with a team of in-house technical experts, helps us to model solutions that deliver efficiencies, and savings in the service charge, that benefit your residents. These benefits will be recognised in improved STAR (Survey of Tenants and Residents) surveys, will support the process towards net-zero and help those RSL’s that have a focus on the standard assessment procedure (SAP) as their key drivers.


Added to the above is the Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 20143, which requires social landlords to ensure that MID-approved heat meters are installed in tenanted dwellings to provide accurate billing.

Key to the future success of many housing associations’ tenants and residents are the following:

  • Reduced administration including;
    • Void management; Service charges;
    • Eliminating manual meter readings.

SSE Energy Management Centre

At SSE Distributed Energy, we believe we are perfectly positioned to support housing associations in all of the challenges that lay ahead.

We constantly monitor your buildings via a remote connection to our Energy Management Centre (EMC). This 24/7 365 facility is set up to ensure your buildings are running at maximum efficiency.


The EMC is a UK based technical help-desk manned by engineers providing;

  • Real-time monitoring of BEMS outputs.
  • Critical alarm monitoring and escalation.
  • Rapid response remote fix.
  • On-site engineer dispatch and management.
  • Building health-checks and health reports.
  • Global change initiatives.
  • Brand agnostic approach with all BEMS catered for: we can communicate remotely with any BEMS.


System Benefits

To the Housing Association
  • Understanding of energy centre plant costs against building load consumption
  • Visibility of energy usage per flat(s)
  • Option to monitor your buildings energy centre 24/7 remotely, reducing on site call out resource
  • A suite of energy and revenue reports
  • Vulnerable tenant flag, allows you to keep track of your vulnerable people
  • Social responsibility helping reduce fuel poverty and manage debt
  • Easy tariff management and ability to set a fair tariff policy
  • Tenant flat statement
To the tenant
  • Flexible and trusted methods of payments
  • Emergency credit facility
  • Adjustable flat temperature control
  • Visibility of the tenant’s current room temperature
  • Ability to manage your energy spend closely (daily)

Talk to SSE Energy Solutions - Smart Buildings, about how we can help with your BMS. Call us on 0345 072 9529, or email us at info@sseenergyoptimisation.co.uk

This blog was researched and written by Ravi Kalyan Ravi Kalyan


1 Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014, https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/3120/made

2 Based on 50 working weeks/year, a 5-day week, and 8 hours per day

3 Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014, https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/3120/made