The Energy Act 2011 saw the introduction of Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES), formerly known Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS).

Non-domestic buildings generate around 12% of the UK’s CO2 emissions. With more than half of those still being around in 2050, there is an urgent need to make them more energy efficient and reduce emissions to prevent heating up the atmosphere even further.

What do the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards apply to?

The MEES apply to domestic private rented and non-domestic private rented properties.

What are the key dates of the MEES?

Since 1st April 2018, business premises must meet the new minimum EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) band of E.

This means:

  1. Since 1st April 2018, landlords of non-domestic private property may not grant a tenancy to new or existing tenants if the property has an EPC rating of band F or G. However, if the energy rating is worse than E, the landlord has to ensure to make improvements on the property to raise the energy efficiency to a minimum of E.
  2. From 1st April 2023, landlords of non-domestic private property must not continue letting a property with an EPC rating of band F or G (‘sub-standard property’).

Are there exemptions from the MEES?

A landlord can register an exemption from meeting the energy efficiency requirements if he/she thinks the building qualifies for it. Possible scenarios where this applies are explained on this page.

What is an Energy Performance Certificate?

An energy performance certificate shows how energy efficient a property is and how the energy efficiency can be improved. They are similar to energy labels which you can find on energy-related products.

What can I do to improve my building’s EPC rating?

The commercial boilers that provide heat and hot water to a building affect EPC rating. Aged boilers are inefficient, which is why it is worth considering upgrading those. The design, tender and installation process for commercial boilers for this type of building is likely to be at least 3-6 months. A full feasibility study to ensure the building owner gets the most suitable equipment for their property portfolio, practically and financially viable, should be carried out.

Other than compliance, what are other reasons to improve the efficiency of a building and consider upgrading a heating system?

Refurbishing an existing heating system does not only improve the EPC rating of a building, it also prevents break downs. More efficient equipment such as condensing boilers and water heaters will also mean lower fuel bills for the landlord and their tenants. According to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), making commercial buildings more energy efficient could result in savings consumers 1 billion pounds a year by 2030. The Government is also considering changing the minimum energy efficiency requirements for rented commercial buildings to band B by 2030 which would be a considerable challenge for most. You can read more on this here.

Apart from that, for an office building in London with 10,000 sq ft it could equate to £41,500 per month of lost income, should it become unlettable.

Where can I find more information about the MEES?

On the Government website.

How can Hamworthy help with meeting the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards?

We offer a free plant room site survey to assess current heating and hot water equipment and see if there is room for improvement in energy efficiency. If we have access to the current heating bills we also can produce an energy savings calculation. This shows how much could be saved on gas bills by changing boilers and water heaters and how long it will take for the project to pay back.

At a time when we are all tasked with showing return on investment and reducing bills in the long term this can be a powerful tool to gain approval for capital expenditure.

Our Energy Saving CPD covers legislation such as the Energy Act as well as how system and product improvements may reduce energy consumption in commercial premises by up to 35%!

Review your building's heating and hot water today. Request a free site survey