Business guide to the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard
The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard came into force in April 2018, and new legal minimum levels of efficiency standards for energy management now apply to rented commercial buildings. All developers, freehold investors, landlords and lenders are impacted by this legal regulation and penalties will be applied for non-compliance.
About the minimum energy efficiency standard (MEES)
MEES regulations originated in the Energy Act 2011 which contained a number of energy efficiency policies. The government recognised that the built environment within the UK plays a major part in contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, which could impact upon meeting targets for carbon reductions by 2020 and 2050. Estimates indicate that around 18% of rented out properties have F or G energy performance certificate ratings. Current Building Regs do stipulate that new builds meet energy efficiency standards currently in place, and the MEES Regulation will ensure the effectiveness of older buildings.
Commercial buildings are currently rated from A – G for energy efficiency, with G-rated buildings performing at the lowest efficiency levels. The MEES regulation makes it compulsory for buildings to meet a minimum E standard, if they don’t they cannot be rented out.
Since 1 April 2018 it has been the case that no landlord can renew any existing tenancy or grant new leases unless the building meets or exceeds the E standard rating which is incorporated within essential energy performance certificate (EPC) ratings. Exemptions can be registered by landlords and more information can be sourced on the UK government website
The government has also reserved its right to increase the minimum MEES standard at any future point.
Structures affected by MEES
It can be a little tricky to actually work out whether buildings fall within the scope of MEES, and it will not apply to the following:
- structures that don’t need EPC certification, such as workshops, agricultural buildings, some listed buildings and industrial sites
- buildings that don’t have an EPC or where the EPC is more than 10 years old
You can find out more about this new legislation if you check out the Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) 2012 and the MEES Regulations.
Touchstone Services provide energy management solutions to businesses, charities and organisations within the third sector. Contact us to find out more.