Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards Regulations Update – 1 April 2020

The UK government works toward their environmental performance goals in a number of ways, with one example being the upholding of Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards for existing and new buildings. This legislation broadly ensures that the most poorly performing and the least energy efficient buildings are required to be improved. As of yesterday (1 April 2020), it is illegal to let any residential property, including those with an agreement already in place, if it does not meet the MEES.

The minimum EPC rating is set to E, meaning that before letting or selling a property, the owner must ensure that the property is higher than F. In April 2023, this will apply to all leases (there are some limited exempt buildings), including non-residential properties.

It is anticipated that the UK government will raise the MEES and therefore likely that, by April 2030, all commercial properties will require a minimum EPC rating of B or C. This will require building owners to implement real improvements to the energy performance of their buildings.

If landlords do not comply, there may be the risk of a financial penalty and summons to court. Worse still, poor energy performance will inevitably impact upon the ability to re-let or sell certain properties, with a subsequent negative impact upon property valuations. The most proactive landlords are already taking steps now, to identify the “at risk” properties, so that a strategy can be implemented for improvements to energy performance and future proofing.

Keep a look out for updates to the MEES regulations, as they are scrutinised by governments, lobbyists and private organisations alike. At the time of writing, the United Nations has just postponed the COP26 climate change meeting in Glasgow (due to COVID-19). This is now likely postponed until summer 2021. We anticipate that following COP26, the UK government is likely to announce proposed changes to environmental legislation that will include MEES. This is designed to assist the UK government in terms of meeting their Net Zero Carbon target by 2050.

Trident are currently advising several clients on their strategy ahead of the anticipated increase in MEES . This is linking heavily with our advice in relation to Planned Preventative Maintenance and also Technical Due Diligence during acquisition.

Should you require further information then please do not hesitate to contact Dan Brooks-Dowsett on 0117 321 3184, or email daniel.brooks-dowsett@tridentbc.com.

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