Increased Climate Awareness Could Increase MEES Fines Risk For Commercial Portfolio Owners

commercial-properties non domestic epc

Only last month, the Government set out plans to tighten existing MEES regulations in future, but as of April, no councils had yet taken action to ‘name and shame’ landlords who have failed to achieve the minimum ‘E’ rating.

Those of us in the low carbon industry are particularly concerned about widespread failure to even complete a non-domestic epc for many commercial properties – for portfolio owners, this is a major risk and it isn’t good news for the climate either.

The property industry has been, to a certain extent, lax about taking action on non-mees-compliant properties, with anecdotal evidence of non-compliant properties still being widely available to let.   In our experience, many portfolio owners have still to even assess their risk.

With growing awareness on climate issues, the laid-back approach from regulators could be set to change.  Buildings account for 66% of electricity consumption and direct greenhouse gas emissions of around 85 MtCO2e (2017 figure).  With high profile climate change campaigns like Extinction Rebellion paralysing the capital and dominating media headlines, the public are calling for action and landlords present an easy target, because the regulations to issue fines are already in place.

What are the regulations surrounding MEES Compliance?

As of 1 April 2018, both domestic and non-domestic rental properties over which a new tenancy is to be granted must have an EPC rating of ‘E’ or above.  The same rules apply to lease renewals and lease extensions – so in short, landlords have no choice to comply.

What can landlords and portfolio owners do to comply?

The first starting point is to obtain a non-domestic EPC for all your commercial properties.

Low carbon consultants MEES Solutions provide low carbon advice, MEES solutions and EPCs to commercial property portfolio holders.  They say that, in their experience, portfolio owners are unnecessarily leaving themselves open to the risk of big fines when the solutions are often fairly straightwforward. 

Director Dave Cadwallader explains:

“In practice, we are able to help most landlords achieve at least an ‘E’ rating and our common sense approach means that any necessary improvements can be achieved either free or low cost.  

“With climate demonstrations rightly raising awareness of the threat from climate change, we expect regulators to find their teeth.  Fines could be up to £5,000 per property, so ignoring the regulations represents a big risk for portfolio owners.

“For portfolio owners who have not yet achieved MEES compliance across their property portfolio, our advice is to pick up the phone, either to ourselves or to another low carbon consultant.  Low carbon consultants are experts in EPC and MEES and a quick call will save hours of searching online – although we have more experience than most.  Our consultants actually teach for the UK’s largest assessor certification body in the UK) on Non Domestic EPCs, Building Services, Building regulation compliance and MEES and have worked in the sector since 2008!”

If you have any questions about MEES compliance, EPC Certificates or exemptions, you can call MEES Solutions on 0203 475 0544 or visit the MEES Solutions Website: https://www.meessolutions.co.uk