20% of commercial properties face penalties for poor energy efficiency ratings; how can building controls help?

20% of commercial properties face penalties for poor energy efficiency ratings; how can building controls help?

New energy efficiency laws are edging nearer. With them come requirements for commercial property owners to deliver sustainability improvements portfolio-wide.

In this explainer, BG Energy Solutions assesses why intelligent building controls answer perfectly the legislation’s call to action

New research, published in the Energyst, suggests 20% of commercial properties fall short of the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) required under the Energy Act by April 2018.

MEES are a relatively new concept. They shake up energy efficiency law across commercial properties.

What do MEES stipulate?

MEES laws, passed in March 2015, make it illegal for landlords to lease properties with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) below E from April 1, 2018.

The impacts are therefore vital to the sector; ‘Landlords could find they are unable to rent commercial properties in two years’ time because they fall below the minimum energy efficiency standards,’ writes the Energyst.

Thus, urgent change is approaching; investors and property landlords must implement efficiency in time for the deadline. While doing so, they should also consider how energy efficiency measures can improve comfort levels and control for tenants.

The logic runs; more sustainable buildings are more desirable, and hence deliver higher rental values and longer term tenants. Like the best environmental law, MEES deliver a step up in energy efficiency, but will also give tenants better properties and landlords financial incentives to deliver a greener portfolio.

How to answer the call of MEES

“There is no doubt MEES will fundamentally shake up the commercial letting sector,” explains Duncan Biggins, Chairman of BG Energy Solutions.

Intelligent building controls and lighting controls services are the perfect tools to add efficiency in commercial buildings.”
Better controlled heating and hot water, ventilation, cooling and air conditioning can all contribute to a better EPC rating.

The benefits of the right systems are profound; 40% lower energy bills, futureproofed ‘intelligent’ buildings, lower CO2 emissions and lower running costs, to say nothing of improved comfort levels for tenants.

Act now; no time to lose

The Energyst writes that owners of non MEES-compliant buildings are liable for fines of up to £150,000.

“Investors need to act now,” Alan Somerville, Cushman & Wakefield, told the Energyst. “Although 2018 may seem some way off, given the time needed to identify where building efficiency upgrades are needed and to ensure the work is completed, delaying this process could prove very costly.”

The nearer legislation draws, the more desperate the race to comply becomes, an unfortunate and unnecessary truth recently proven by the rush to comply with ESOS energy efficiency law.

“We would urge building owners to engage with the energy reduction process as soon as possible,” Duncan Biggins concludes. “At BG Energy Solutions, we can support clients at every stage of their energy efficiency journey – from initial consultation through to the implementation of appropriate technology and maintenance. We can even help with funding solutions to avoid upfront cost.”

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