New Regulations Relating to Minimum EPC Ratings Come Into Effect Next Year!
From 1 April 2018, a new legal standard for minimum energy efficiency will apply to rented commercial buildings. Landlords of buildings within the scope of the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) regulations must not renew existing tenancies or grant new tenancies if the building has less than the minimum energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of E unless the landlord registers an ‘exemption’.
The new MEES regulations do not, however, apply in the following situations:
What are the ‘exemptions’?
‘Exemptions’ include the following:
Despite the above ‘MEES’ is likely to affect the majority of commercial property on the market and if you have premises which are on the market now or about to come to the market it makes sense to review the current EPC rating to establish whether appropriate action may need taken. In some instances an EPC rating might be capable of improvement to the requisite level simply by changing light bulbs to a more energy efficient equivalent or perhaps the light fittings themselves (eg from basic fluorescent units to an LED type) and therefore at relatively low cost. And in doing so this could have the added advantage of improving the specification of the premises and assisting with marketability.
In any event landlords would be well advised to consider the implications for their commercial property portfolios as action may well be required prior to re-letting or renewing leases.
It is worth noting that from 1st April 2023 MEES will be extended to cover all leases, including where a lease is already in place!