Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards

EPC E rating 2018 / Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES)

As part of the Energy Act 2011, the government is proposing to introduce the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards that would make it unlawful for landlords to lease properties unless they meet or better the minimum EPC rating, currently expected to be E.  This legislation will come into force on 1 April 2018.  New leases or renewals of existing leases will both be affected.

Selling a property with a poor rating would theoretically still be fine, however any purchaser then wanting to let it out would be faced with the same restrictions, should the rating be worse than an E.

Currently, domestic and non-domestic buildings are rated from A to G, with G being the worst.  The average rating across the UK is thought to be D.  In the future, it may be that the minimum EPC rating under MEES actually changes, so that perhaps a D is the new standard.

For commercial / non-domestic buildings, the EPC rating is based on carbon dioxide emissions from the building.  This goes hand in hand with energy efficiency.  For residential / domestic properties, the EPC rating indicates the energy cost to run the building.  Confusingly, commercial EPCs with a low EPC figure (0) are rated best, whereas a higher rating on a residential building is best (100).

Our focus at Up Energy is on the non-domestic sector for EPCs and we work closely with landlords, property owners, pension funds, agents, tenants and advisors.  We do however also have extensive knowledge of the residential sector and can help with both types of building.

MEES Golden Rule

It is expected that for some buildings with poor ratings, it will be difficult and/or require a lot of investment to get the building up to the required minimum standard.  The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards will contain a ‘golden rule’ used to determine whether the payback period of the required improvements fits an acceptable timeframe.  The ‘golden rule’ came about as part of the creation of the Green Deal; a government backed scheme whereby property owners and tenants were able to upgrade the performance of their building using approved installers and loan finance, repaid through their electricity bill.  There was limited interest in the domestic Green Deal and almost no interest in the non-domestic Green Deal.  Up Energy have assessors qualified to undertake both domestic and non-domestic Green Deal assessments.

The methodology for determining if building improvements meet the ‘golden rule’ is yet to be finalised but will no doubt require the services of a qualified energy assessor or Green Deal assessor.  EPC software may be used to determine suitable energy efficiency improvements or manual calculations may be required.

It is quite a common misconception amongst landlords that they need to upgrade the insulation levels of their building, such as a new roof or double glazing, on older properties.  It is certainly true that better insulation levels equates to better energy efficiency and a fabric first approach is best with new construction, in order to meet regulations.  However, for an existing building, there are many other factors that will affect the rating, including type of lighting, heating system efficiency, heating system fuel and also, critically, the activities that go on within the building.

For example, the EPC rating of a retail building will be affected most by the type of lighting within the sales area.  Something like a care home, where there is a high heating demand, will be greatly affected by the heating fuel and heating system efficiency.  A leisure building, where the shower and changing facilities take up a reasonable percentage of the building footprint, will be affected by the performance of the hot water system.  There are many variables, and for that reason, it is important to get some expert advice, before undertaking any improvements.

Up Energy has carried out over 1,500 non-domestic EPCs and work closely with a variety of property professionals and owners.  For help with meeting the requirements of the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) due to come into force in April 2018, get in touch with us today.

If you would like more information please call us on
07515 442665, 07974 567272 or email us

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