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Heat Pumps in Body Corporates: What You Need To Consider
Heat pumps are often considered the holy grail of home heating in New Zealand, due to their energy efficiency, heating and cooling functions and ability to fulfill Healthy Homes requirements. However, installing a heat pump in a body corporate is not always possible.
Challenges to Installing Heat Pumps in a BC
Retrofitting heat pumps may prove challenging in multi-unit dwellings.
The first challenge is to find an appropriate place for an outdoor unit. Apartment balconies may fit the bill, but owners will still require the permission of the body corporate to install a heat pump. The addition of penetrations in the cladding and potential drainage issues will also need to be considered.
Depending on your body corporate rules, the body corporate may refuse penetrations or the installation of units on the exterior of a building. If owners are looking to rent out their properties and need to meet Healthy Home standards, they should ask for documentation from the body corporate confirming that the required penetrations or use of external space is not permitted. See Healthy Homes compliance exemptions below.
If an apartment does not have a balcony, there are fewer options for heat pump installation, as it will likely be difficult to retrofit the piping to use another external space.
What Changes have been made to the Healthy Homes Heating Formula?
A new heating formula for modern dwellings and certain apartments was introduced in May 2022. This new formula reflects that these types of properties are better at retaining heat and make it easier for eligible dwellings to meet the NZ Healthy Homes standards.
The Government's heating assessment tool has been updated and can calculate the required minimum heating capacity using both the new and original formula.
Are there Healthy Homes Exemptions Available?
Yes, Healthy Homes exemptions exist where a rental property is part of a building, and the landlord does not own the entire building. The landlord will be partially exempt from complying with parts of the standards if their ability to comply with the Healthy Homes Standards is not possible because:
- they need to install or provide something in a part of the building where the landlord is not the sole owner, or
- they need access to a part of the building where they are not the sole owner.
Even if an exemption is received, landlords are still required to take all reasonable steps to ensure their property complies with the Standards to the greatest extent reasonably practicable.
See specific exemptions to the Healthy Homes Heating standard.
What are the Alternatives to Heat Pumps?
If installing a heat pump is problematic in your body corporate there are other alternatives that may still allow you to meet the Healthy Homes standards. We talk more about alternative heating sources in this recent article.
Read more about Healthy Homes Standards and its requirements at our Healthy Homes Hub.
Contact the Body Corporate Experts
If you’d like further advice on installing heating in a body corporate, contact Crockers’ helpful Community Living experts at 09 968 3311 or email email@example.com.