The United Kingdom has committed to reducing emissions by 2050 to 80% based on a 1990 baseline. Currently the carbon budget targets have been met, but for the UK to continue to improve and meet the 2050 target, more strict regulation has been implemented by the Government. As around 40% of the UK’s energy consumption and carbon emissions come from the operation of buildings, this is a target area.

What are the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards?

As of April 1st 2018, the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulations have been introduced. The impact of this is that applicable commercial properties that have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of F or G will not be legally able to grant a new lease or tenancy until their rating is improved to an E or above.

 What is an EPC?

An EPC is an Energy Performance Certificate, this is generated through an assessment giving information about a property’s energy use and typical energy costs. An EPC gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient). As a tenant, you should contact your landlord or managing agent, or search the Energy Performance Certificate Register.

How are buildings assessed?

To receive an EPC, buildings should be reviewed by an accredited assessor. The summary will assess the key individual elements that have an impact on your building’s performance rating, with recommendations added about how to reduce energy use and save money. The key elements that are considered are walls, roof, floor, windows, main heating, main heating controls, secondary heating, hot water, lighting.

Who will be affected?

MEES regulations will apply to landlords and property owners upon the granting of a lease to a new tenant and lease renewals to existing tenants. The responsibility of ensuring the building is above these ratings lies with the landlord. The penalties for not complying can reach up to £150,000.

The same requirements will come into force on April 1st 2020 for all commercially rented properties even if there has not been a change in tenancy agreements and from April 1st 2023 extend to all applicable privately rented properties.

 

These new standards are not meant to be a punishment for building owners, but rather provide encouragement to reduce running costs and improve the efficiency of buildings while also reducing emissions.

 

Contact our team to ensure your business is proactive in environmental legislation compliance.

 

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