With big changes soon to affect commercial buildings in England and Wales, Deane Flint looks at 18 important details regarding MEES (Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards) and the changes landlords might need to make to their buildings in 2018.

In case you didn’t know, MEES will apply to every new lease and every renewal of commercial property from the 1st of April 2018, with fines imposed on landlords that do not bring their properties up to spec, which means getting them higher than an F energy rating.

In the UK 35% of building stock is commercial so tackling energy use amongst these properties will help make a significant impact to lowering carbon emissions in the UK.

And this is necessary because we have really challenging targets for an 80% reduction in overall UK emissions by 2050, based on 1990 levels. Buildings contribute 30% of energy consumption and over 40% of greenhouse gas emissions, so there's a real opportunity to make a difference regarding carbon reduction and energy for the UK.

To help you understand what MEES is and how you can ensure your property complies, I have created the list below on the top 18 details you need to know NOW. 

The 18 things you need to know about MEES

  • MEES stands for Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards and was introduced by the Government to move the commercial property market towards low-energy rated buildings that subsequently reduce carbon emissions

  • MEES was introduced in March 2015 making it illegal to let any commercial property with an EPC rating of less than band E in England and Wales

  • If you are a commercial building owner you have until April to get your properties EPC above band E

  • From 2023 MEES will apply to every commercial property lease, including where there is an existing lease already in place

  • The ultimate goal of MEES is to move the commercial property market to a minimum EPC rating of band C by 2030

  • To meet MEES regulations, landlords must improve energy efficiency in their properties, unless it is not cost-effective to do so

  • Landlords can use Green Deal to finance energy efficiency equipment, as long as the resulting energy savings are equal to or better than the borrowed money. Where funding is not available, the payback period is likely to be 7 years

  • There are 1.2 million commercial private rented units of property space, equal to 66% of non-domestic stock in England and Wales so the impact is huge

  • Out of all the EPC rated non-domestic buildings in England and Wales 10% are band G and 8% are band F – could your property be in this percentage?

  • This means 200,000 commercial properties need to make changes to comply

  • The main energy use in commercial buildings are lighting, cooling, ventilation, and heating

  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) account for about 50% of energy use

  • New HVAC technology with lower energy consumption does exist so you can comply with MEES and still have a comfortable indoor environment

  • New air conditioning systems can be 50% more energy efficient than older equipment

  • We can help you comply with MEES in many different ways, from helping to specify the right solution, to advising on where your building can save the most energy with cost-effective new technologies

  • New products like R32 refrigerant split air conditioning, Hybrid VRF air conditioning, inverter-driven chillers and renewable heating with a heat pump can lead the way making your building comply

  • Whatever your choice of technology, the important thing to realise is that DOING NOTHING IS NOT AN OPTION

  • We have a free, CPD-Guide on MEES and further help on this topic including face-to-face support is just an email away

Download our free MEES CPD Guide

Deane Flint is Joint Managing Director at Mitsubishi Electric, Living Environment Systems UK.