Minimum EPC energy performance standards for commercial buildings
Under the Energy Act 2011, from April 2018, it will be unlawful to let properties that fail to achieve a prescribed minimum energy performance standard (MEPS) until qualifying improvements have been carried out.
It is expected that this minimum standard will be equivalent to an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E. As a result, owners of properties with EPC ratings of F or G will, in some circumstances, no longer be able to let these properties until their energy efficiency has been addressed.
With nearly 75,000 commercial premises having EPC certificates rated F or G (~19% of certified units) and a further 65,000 with an E certificate, this policy has the potential to have a dramatic impact on levels of investment in the energy efficiency of our existing buildings
The Energy Act 2011 obliges the government to introduce energy efficiency regulations by no later than 1 April 2018 and, while the broad parameters of the new regulations are set out in the Act, much of the detail has been left for secondary legislation.
The minimum energy performance standard is widely expected to be an E rating. However there is both the possibility that this will increase in the future and that the methodology for assessment may be revised and become more stringent. Therefore, in addition to F and G rated properties, some rated E are likely to be affected adversely in terms of market value as they may be deemed “riskier” than better-rated buildings.