Sharon Oliver looks at imminent energy efficiency legislation and highlights a free CPD Guide that is available to all.

Over twelve years ago, we realised that changes to both legislation and technology were speeding up and decided that we had to find a way to help anyone understand the sometimes profound implications that these changes could mean for both them and their business.

That’s why we embarked on a campaign to produce free, CPD (Continuing Professional Development) Guides on issues that affect our customers and their customers and have now produced over 60 guides and presentations on the most important issues facing the construction industry in the UK.

All of these guides are available to download free of charge from our digital library.

Next year will see a piece of legislation affecting anyone letting or renting commercial properties, so I thought I’d start a series of blog posts to highlight the important aspects that anyone involved in buildings needs to grasp.

If you are a landlord or a tenant of a commercial building, this really will affect you

Sharon Oliver Sharon Oliver Marketing Manager

MEES means changes from next April

Called MEES or Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard, the legislation demands that a commercial property in England and Wales is brought up to a minimum EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating of ‘E’.

This means that from 1st April 2018, MEES will apply to all new lettings and lease renewals, and from 1 April 2023, it will be extended to all existing leases.

Whilst there are exceptions, simply speaking, this means that landlords will no longer be able to rent properties if they do not meet a certain level of energy efficiency.

MEES means that properties within the scope of the regulations must be brought up to a minimum EPC rating of ‘E’, with those properties below this (ratings of F & G) being seen as sub-standard.

Landlords will, therefore, need to ensure that any of their properties comply with MEES before leases are granted.

In London alone, findings last summer by the Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE), show that more than a third of the Capital’s commercial buildings currently have the worst EPC ratings in the country.

ACE estimates that 18,000 of these would obtain only an F or G EPC rating.

So this is a significant challenge that we all need to address.

MEES will apply to all existing leases from 1 April 2023

From 1 April 2023 MEES will be extended to cover all leases, including existing leases but only if the property is legally required to have an EPC on the relevant date.

Commercial buildings are given an energy efficiency rating of A-G, with F and G being the worst performing.

What the new law does is introduce a minimum standard of E and that means that buildings cannot be rented out unless they meet that standard

The penalties for renting out a property in breach of the MEES Regulations will be equivalent to 10% of the property’s rateable value, subject to a minimum of £5,000 and a maximum of £50,000.

After three months, the penalty rises to 20% of the rateable value, with a minimum penalty of £10,000 and a maximum of £150,000.

So, if you are a landlord or a tenant of a commercial building, this really will affect you.  

Sharon Oliver is Marketing Manager for Mitsubishi Electric Living Environment Systems.

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