Converting a property can be a very satisfying experience. From simple loft conversions to exciting barn conversions, there is so much you can do with a building if you have creative flair. If done right, a property conversion can be an exciting and profitable venture.
However, the process of converting a property is also littered with things to consider. When thinking about all of the planning permissions and associated costs involved, it is not unusual for people to forget about things such as energy supplies and utility requirements.
Below, we take a look at some of the key areas related to gas and electricity that you should think about when tackling a property conversion.
Considering Your Electricity Connection
It goes without saying that all properties need to have an efficient electricity connection. When you are converting your property, you should consider whether or not your existing electricity supply is sufficient. If it is not up to scratch, you may require an alteration or in some cases a new electricity connection.
If a new property is created by the conversion itself, it is likely that you will need to set up a new electricity connection. If you are, for example, looking to split a large house into flats then you will require a new connection for each of the new properties created. These properties will have their own individual connections to the grid and each will have unique meter point administration numbers (MPAN), so each property can have a separate electricity meter for billing purposes.
It is also worth noting that in cases where new properties are being created through conversion or redevelopment projects, you will benefit from a lower VAT rate of 5% rather than the usual 20% VAT rate.
If you are taking on a smaller scale conversion, for example a loft or garage conversion, then a new electricity connection would not be required but you may still need an upgrade to the existing electricity supply to meet the demand of the larger property that is created.
Converting a property may seem like a daunting prospect but at Utility Smart, we make sure that the process of converting properties is made simple for our customers. From planning out your new connection or upgrade and obtaining all necessary permits, to fitting your new supply and relaying any disturbed groundwork, we will take care of the process from start to finish.
Considering Your Gas Connection
Unlike an electricity connection, a gas supply is not an essential requirement for a property. Although there are many advantages to having a gas supply, a property can be powered solely by electricity and so the first thing that you need to consider when converting a property, is whether or not gas is actually required?
If you do decide that gas is required, then just as with the electricity, you will require a brand new gas connection for each of the separate properties created by your conversion works. This will allow us to create individual meter point reference numbers (MPRN) for each supply, so you can have a separate gas meter for each property for billing purposes.
It is also worth mentioning that converted properties which require multiple gas supplies with internal meter positions are subject to safety regulations. You should contact us as early as possible to discuss what is required to ensure that your conversion complies with the regulations.
Again, if you are undertaking a minor conversion within an existing property, by converting a garage or loft for example, it is more likely that you will need a gas connection upgrade or alteration.
Plan Ahead For Larger Conversions
Whatever you plan to do with your next conversion, it’s important to plan ahead and make sure that you don’t hit any stumbling blocks. Over recent years, many property developers have noticed the value in converting buildings into flats so that they can be sold on at a high profit. If you are planning a large scale conversion like this, ask yourself the following questions before you begin:
- Does the building hold any historical value? If so, it may be more difficult to obtain planning permission.
- Have you taken into account the labour costs involved in an extensive project like this?
- Have you set out a timeline so that you know when your project will be completed? Larger developments like this can take a while to complete so always bear that in mind when thinking about your ROI.
- Have you sought professional advice and asked how gas and electricity connections will be set up?
Still Plan Ahead For Smaller Conversions
If you are planning a smaller conversion within your own home, for example, things will be a little less complicated for you. However, it is still important to think about the following issues before you get started:
- Do you have planning permission? Even if you are making alterations to your own home, you may still need a permit to carry out your work.
- Safety is of paramount importance. You may want to make changes in your own home, but it is vital that you use credible professionals who will be able to conduct the work you need safely.
- Have you spoken to a professional and asked them about how your gas and electricity will be changed?
Whether you’re converting a whole building into a set of stunning new flats, or your project is much smaller than that, you should always plan ahead and make sure that your gas and electricity connections are up to scratch.