MEES: The minimum energy efficiency standard for commercial buildings
The new MEES regulations came in to effect in April 2018. It governs the new standard for minimum energy efficiency relating to commercial buildings.
MEES has been introduced as part of a number of reforms including the green deal beginning in 2011.
The New Rules
Commercial buildings energy efficiency is rated from A (very efficient) to G (inefficient). The new regulations make the ‘E’ rating the new allowable minimum requirement, essentially cutting F and G from the bottom of the rating system.
Buildings that fail to achieve at least an E energy efficiency rating will not be permitted to be rented out until improvements are made and ratings improve.
April 2018 – Landlords of buildings within the scope of MEES cannot renew tenancies or grant new tenancies for buildings rated below E on commercial EPC energy performance certificate. (unless the landlord registers an exemption).
April 2023 – Landlords must cease lettings on any commercial buildings which are not rated at E or above by commercial EPC. (unless the landlord registers an exemption).
What does MEES Apply to?
The scope of MEES means that there are a number of exceptions to the new minimum standards. These include:
- If the building is not required to have an Energy Performance Certificate
- Short tenancies (less than 6 months)
- Long term tenancies over 99 years
If any of the below exemptions apply, a landlord can apply to continue letting a building which is within the scope of MEES if it doesn’t meet the minimum requirement:
- If an independent energy assessor determines that all relevant energy efficiency improvements are already in place, or that any possible improvement would not pay for themselves within 7 years of installation. This requires careful assessment by the energy assessor.
- If it is independently determined that the necessary improvements would lead to a devaluation of the market value of the property by more than 5%.
- Third Party Consent: where consent from persons such as a tenant, a superior landlord or planning authorities has been refused or has been given with conditions with which the landlord cannot reasonably comply.
Exemptions must be registered on the central government PRS Exemptions Register.
What happens if my building doesn’t comply?
MEES Regulations will be enforced by the local authority. Penalties will be fines based on the rateable value of the property which is found to be in breach of the new regulations.
Complying with MEES
Peak Acoustics can help ensure your commercial property or portfolio complies with the new regulations. We can undertake an assessment to find the most cost effective improvements to bring any non-compliant buildings into the required energy efficiency band.