The future of Minimum Energy Efficient Standards (MEES)
Minimum Energy Efficient Standards, or MEES, is an energy efficiency standard which prevents landlords from leasing out properties with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating below grade E. The Energy Performance Certificate grades the energy efficiency of a building on a scale from A to G – grade A being the most efficient and grade G the least.
In addition, EPC recommends ways to improve the overall energy efficiency of a building. An EPC is a legal requirement before letting out or selling a premise, after construction is finished, and after renovations involving changes in ventilation and fixed heating systems. MEES and EPC are government initiatives to encourage efficient energy management in commercial and residential buildings.
The MEES regulation took effect on 1 April 2018, preventing landlords from accepting new leases on commercial and residential buildings scoring grade E and above on the EPC scale.
Beginning 1 April 2020, the MEES will extend to continuing residential leases. This means that, in addition to prohibiting new leases below the EPC baseline, leases that have already been granted will have to comply with the regulation.
From 1 April 2023, it will be unlawful to continue letting out any property with an EPC rating of below grade E, as the regulation will extend to all commercial building leases.
How MEES will affect commercial buildings and leasing
A low EPC rating could have profound financial implications on landlords, who will need to consider the cost of upgrading fittings, insulation and so on, as well as the loss of income that results during the renovation period. Non-compliance currently attracts hefty fines, a punishment that will continue throughout the three-phase regulation plan. Unless a premise is eligible for EPC exception, compliance with MEES is mandatory.
With that in mind, it is high time for landlords to start making energy cautious upgrades to lower consumption before the expected regulations catch up with them. Energy management is an ideal way to cut operating costs in the long run. Property owners have adopted economic upgrades like switching to renewable energy sources that improve the EPC grade without necessarily altering the building’s properties. For advice on meeting MEES requirements and managing energy consumption in your building, please feel free to contact us. We’re always eager to assist!