All about MEES

Tim Taylor
Why thinking beyond minimum standards is the way to unlock best value from built assets...

Looking and feeling rundown? In need of a bit of attention and investment? Struggling to keep up with the pace of change and worried about the future? The symptoms are pretty clear – the UK’s building stock is in need of a little TLC, particularly where it comes to energy efficiency and carbon emissions.

The UK Government has developed a prescription – MEES, or the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard. In a nutshell, MEES means that private and public sector landlords will be prohibited from renting out their most energy inefficient buildings. To benchmark energy efficiency, the MEES regulations refer to the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating for a property, which is scored from A+ to G (with ‘A+’ representing the most efficient buildings, and ‘G’ the least efficient). There are two key dates for non-domestic rented properties:

  • Since 1st April 2018, landlords may not grant a tenancy to new or existing tenants if the property has an EPC rating of band F or G.
  • From 1st April 2023, landlords may not continue to let a property that has an EPC rating of band F or G.

In other words, within the next five years all of the least energy efficient buildings should have been upgraded, or they will be sitting vacant and losing money. This will be no small task, since about 16% of non-domestic buildings have an EPC rating of band F or G.

Thinking beyond these new regulations, the impact that buildings have on people and the environment is now well enough understood to guide decision-making. The energy we use for heating and powering non-domestic buildings accounts for 12% of the UK’s emissions. The UN has warned that we have 11 years to mend our ways and act on climate change to keep global warming below 1.5°C and avoid the worst impacts on people and the planet. Time is running out, and decisive interventions are needed to improve the energy performance of the existing building stock to reduce emissions and provide resilience to a warming climate. We know we should be doing more, but we are having to do it with less, in the face of economic uncertainty as well as significant constraints on public finances.

We can offer all of this alongside ESOS consultancy if your organisation needs support with Phase 2 of reporting.

MEES might be the stick to cajole the UK’s beaten-down building stock into action on energy efficiency, but in Faithful+Gould’s Strategic Asset Management team we see it as a significant opportunity for organisations that want best value from their built assets. We have the expertise to guide you through understanding the impact of MEES on your organisation, but more than that we can help you plan investments, leverage finance and manage and monitor the outcomes. In addition, using our suite of digital tools, we can help you see the big picture, as well as drill down into the detail.

Want to assess the most cost-effective approaches to improving an EPC rating? We have the knowledge, skills and experience to evaluate the options and help you understand the risks. Interested in deep retrofit or low carbon heat? Our technical experts can help advise you on the latest technologies and developments. Need help making the numbers stack up? We can point you in the right direction for support with capital investment planning and government incentives.

With deep industry insight, we appreciate the constraints that organisations operate under when managing a large portfolio of built assets, and our Strategic Investment Planning tool helps direct the right investment to the right assets at the right time. And if you want the best out of your buildings, our Building Data Analytics platform can help you with better building management and the bottom line.

We can offer all of this alongside ESOS consultancy if your organisation needs support with Phase 2 of reporting.

Doing more than MEES is not just a smart move for your organisation and its impact on the planet, it’s about delivering better outcomes through delivering real improvements in building performance.