In 2015, the Government ignited the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) to improve the worst-performing buildings in the domestic and non-domestic building stock. It encourages landlords and property owners to improve the energy efficiency of their properties where it has an Energy Performance Certificate rating of F and G.
Now, as MEES has been upheld for over five years, a need for stricter standards arises. This is recognised by the Government, which confirms that the future trajectory for the non-domestic MEES will be EPC B by 2030. This is estimated to cover around 85% of the non-domestic rented stock, affecting approximately 1,000,000 buildings across England and Wales. Implementing this standard could reduce UK emissions by the equivalent of half a million homes – roughly the size of Birmingham. Sounds like a great plan, right?
The consultation proposes ways to improve the implementation and enforcement of the EPC B requirement in the non-domestic private rented sector. The trajectory proposed in the 2021 consultation is split up into two compliance windows:
It’s expected that later this year, the Government will publish its response and that amendment to the MEES regulations will come into force on the 1st of April 2025. It may sound like a clever and steady route towards carbon reduction. However, concerns are that the requirements are not stringent enough to support the ambition of minimum EPC B. If the package of measures exceeds the seven-year payback threshold, the landlord may register an exemption. Hence, the identification and implementation of retrofitting initiatives require well-thought-out project management and budgeting. Or else… abort mission. And even though it remains an ambitious target, with the right implementation, it could be the push needed for emission reductions across the commercial building stock.
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This article is written by Nanda Verschoor and Olivier Noorduyn, Account Executives at CFP Green Buildings. Get in touch with Nanda or Olivier if you wish to discuss EPCs and greening your real estate (portfolios).