23 November 2017 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
New guidance has been published to help energy-wasting commercial buildings become more efficient.
The guide, by consultancy Inprova Energy, offers advice to help building owners understand the impact of and how to prepare for the regulatory changes of the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) Regulations, which come into force on 1 April 2018.
The regulations will make it illegal to grant a new tenancy to new or existing tenants for privately rented commercial properties that don't meet minimum energy standards.
Landlords who flout the new regulations will be subject to fines of up to £150,000.
Michael Dent, managing director of Inprova Energy, said: "MEES is being introduced in England and Wales to shake up energy performance of non-domestic buildings, which account for 12 per cent of the UK's greenhouse gas emissions. The legislation places the responsibility on landlords to raise the energy efficiency of their commercial buildings, or suffer financial and reputational loss.
"Under MEES, landlords must achieve an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E or above. But this isn't so easy as it's estimated that up to 20 per cent of all commercial buildings in England and Wales could have the least efficient F or G EPC ratings and that 19 per cent have an E-rating."
He added: "Although properties with an EPC rating below E can still be marketed after April 2018, prior to granting the lease the landlord and tenant must agree to a package of energy efficiency measures that will raise the property up to the required EPC standard."
MEES also applies to sub-leases, affecting occupiers or managed office providers who sub-let property and will be treated as the main landlord. From April 2023, the legislation will apply to non-domestic properties where a lease is already in place and the property occupied.
The Inprova Energy eGuide, can be downloaded here.