The DECC has recently published a consultation on the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard Regulations (MEES). The MEES will comprise the energy standards required of commercial property with effect from 1 April 2018 under the Energy Act 2011.
At the present time there remains some uncertainty as to the provisions of the MEES, although it does appear that new lettings of commercial property with an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of F or G will no longer be permitted after 1 April 2018. A back-stop date of 2023 is also anticipated, by which time all properties subject to a lease will be required to reach the minimum energy standards, not just new lettings.
There are likely to be exemptions and indications are that landlords will only be required to undertake energy efficiency measures that are available at no ‘upfront cost’ before they can let properties below Band E. Green Deal finance initiatives are currently available for qualifying domestic properties, which enable energy efficiency improvements to be undertaken at no upfront cost and repaid via a charge on the energy supply. It would appear that entering in to such an agreement will be required for Band F and G commercial property. As Green Deal finance is not currently available for commercial property though, there is a lot of catching up to be done by the sector as a whole before 1 April 2018.
Energy Act 2011
It appears the Energy Act may not be as onerous on landlords as many initially feared. Further detail will become available after the end of the current consultation period (2 September 2014) and we will continue to update in this regard. We also recommend reviewing the DECC consultation in full, which is available at the following: