Known as the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) or Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) these are new regulations on energy efficiency ratings for buildings. Coming into effect from 1 April 2018, it will become unlawful to grant new leases to properties with an F or G Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating.
From April 2023 the rules will be extended to include all existing commercial leases. According to figures from Landmark, who hold a government database of all EPC rated properties, it is estimated this legislation will affect nearly a fifth of EPC building stock.
The new legislation will apply to all properties that currently require, or will require an EPC. This includes leases from 6 months (including extensions) to 99 years, new leases, renewals and sub-lets. There are some exemptions to the legislation; these relate to the cost effectiveness and ROI of updates required, third party consent and devaluation. Our experts can help you navigate the guidelines and ensure you thoroughly assess your properties and make the right decisions on how to comply for your business.
It is imperative to get on the front foot with MEES compliance so you can actively reduce the risk of fines or vacant premises. If you have buildings rated F or G then it can take time to assess your options and find the right route to compliance. Practically, sourcing funding or scheduling planned updates into void periods or lease breaks can also be better managed through advance planning.
Fines can reach £150,000 if you let a non-compliant building post April 2018. Where the breach is for less than three months, the fine will be £5,000 or 10% of the rateable value. If the breach is for more than three months, the fine will be £10,000 or 20% of the rateable value (up to £150,000). Failure to comply with the Regulations will result in landlords facing a financial penalty or a publication penalty, or both. Local authorities will enforce the provisions via Trading Standards Officers.
It’s likely that MEES proposed for 2018 will get tougher over time so there is also the opportunity to take action now to mitigate the risk of further work in the future. In addition, the more energy efficient your building stock, the more attractive it is to let in the future.
Our MEES Assessment offering is the first step to complying with MEES legislation. We undertake a thorough analysis of your building portfolio. This involves reviewing existing EPCs, completing new EPCs and identifying which buildings are F and G rated, therefore needing energy efficiency improvements.
Our experts will create a comprehensive report detailing actions that need to be taken to improve ratings to an adequate level to meet the MEES legislation. We can go the extra mile by also detailing what changes can be made to further improve your building stock to an even higher rating. This will future proof your business against potential more stringent targets ahead.
Our MEES Solution offer takes our MEES Assessment service to the next level. Following our recommendations and your approval, we would work in partnership with your team to implement the energy efficiency measures required. We have experience managing energy efficiency projects and can further support you by investigating funding options and supporting behavioural change programmes. Once improvements have been made we can then re-assess your EPC rating and ensure you’re fully compliant to re-lease affected sites.
If you have any questions or would like us to get in touch, please contact the Utilitywise team using the form below.