What are the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards MEES, and do they matter?

Since the signing of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, the UK government has introduced numerous policies and targets to ensure the UK meets its commitments to reducing green house gases. Commercial and domestic housing stock currently contribute approximately 34% to carbon emissions through their energy usage; primarily from lighting and heating. To begin to address this, in 2008 Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) became mandatory for all buildings.

The EPC for a building will give an energy efficiency rating between A-G, with A being the most and G being the least efficient. Recommendations are provided as part of the EPC on steps that can be taken to improve the energy efficiency of a building; however until now these have not been enforced.

As climate concerns intensify, the UK government has stipulated that from April 2018 ALL non domestic and domestic rental properties must meet a minimum EPC rating of E before renewing or granting a new tenancy agreement; and it is widely believed that this minimum will rise over the coming 5-10 years. Moreover, EPC certificates must be renewed every 10 years and standards have tightened in the last 10 years. By 2023 MEES will apply to all leased buildings, regardless of when the lease commenced.

What can I do to be MEES compliant?

Any search on the internet for ways to improve energy efficiency of a building will bring up 5 top areas to focus on:

  1. Lighting: replacing old fluorescent bulbs with LED lighting
  2. Heating: upgrading or replacing old, inefficient HVAC systems
  3. Insulation: upgrade the insulation in a building
  4. Glazing: install modern double (or even triple) glazed windows and doors.
  5. Renewable Energy: where possible and practicable, use renewable energy sources.

Investment decisions take time to be researched, selected and implemented. However, ensuring any building(s) you are responsible for meets the minimum EPC standard of E is no longer a decision that can wait. There are exceptions to the rule but these need to be applied for and entered on the Exemptions Register; and even then the exception only lasts 5 years. Organisations who do not make (or begin to make) the required improvements to the energy efficiency of their building stock will face stringent penalties: up to £50,000 for domestic and as much as £150,000 for non domestic properties.

Sound like yet another penalty that won’t help your business? Wrong, any energy efficiency improvements you make will bring cost savings – in your energy and maintenance bills; potentially increase sales through improved lighting of your retail areas; increase health and wellbeing of your staff, thereby increasing productivity; and reduce your carbon footprint.

With two years accreditation with the Carbon Trust and the GC Business Growth Hub, Whytelight Solutions Ltd can help your business implement new LED lighting and/or Infrared heating solutions that will bring energy savings and reduce carbon emissions.

Changes to your lighting and heating systems can be relatively quick and easy to make and will bring quick rewards to your business. Call today or complete an enquiry form for more information.