Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) – 2030 Trajectory

The Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy consultation on the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) for EPC ratings is now closed. The outcome of the consultation is likely to result in the minimum EPC rating required for non-domestic leases being raised from the current ‘E’ standard to a ‘B’ by 2030. This will result in properties requiring to be upgraded well in advance of this change.

With this change, we believe there are risks and opportunities involved for both buildings that are already at the ‘B’ standard and those that currently fall below it.

• The anticipated new Part L will likely use a carbon factor for grid electricity that is significantly below the current factor. This will result in improvements in those buildings that are heated electrically.

• The Reference Building that generates the EPC rating may be updated; currently this uses gas for heating and hot water, a change to electricity would make it harder for those buildings heated by gas to meet the minimum standard.

• Building owners should ensure that any improvements to their buildings are documented in updated O&Ms so that the use of default values is reduced and a better EPC rating is achieved.

• EPC assessments should be completed using Dynamic Simulation Modelling to ensure the most accurate result.

The consultation does recognise that some buildings may not be able to meet the minimum standard of ‘B’, the consultation proposes that these buildings will be able to apply for an exemption if it can be proved that the building has reached the highest level of EPC rating that a cost-effective package of measures can deliver. This will likely be based on the 7-year payback test.

We believe that EPC modelling should not be seen as a point in time assessment and forgotten about until the EPC expiry but rather should be updated regularly in line with changes within the building. The EPC assessment should also be reassessed in line with any potential changes in EPC methodology.

With this organic modelling, the impacts of the expected tightening of MEES would be significantly de-risked.

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KJ Tait Engineers can assist with any aspect of MEES from general guidance to producing EPCs.