The British Property Federation (“BPF”), which is the voice of the real estate industry in the UK, is calling on the UK Government to publish an ‘immediate response’ to the 2021 consultation on new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) for commercial property owners.
For a sense of scale and context, commercial real estate accounts for more than 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions from buildings. As such, we have a critical role to play when it comes to tackling climate change.
The BPF says that owners of commercial buildings have been waiting more than two years for a response to a Government consultation on new minimum energy efficiency standards for the sector. BPF research shows that the lack of regulatory certainty is one of the top five barriers to a net zero property sector
“The property sector is already investing heavily and working together to decarbonise, but this needs to be accompanied by clear policy and regulation by Government,” says a statement from the BPF. “The delay in publishing a response to the consultation has already made the proposed interim milestone of EPC C by 2027 unrealistic and any additional delay risks undermining work to deliver the longer-term target of EPC B by 2030.”
87% of office stock has an EPC rating of C or below, and more than 1 billion sq. ft. across the UK is below the proposed minimum EPC B.Savills
Recent comments around minimum energy efficiency standards for the domestic private rented sector has fuelled further uncertainty, according to the BPF. The Government has said it will delay new energy efficiency targets for privately rented homes in response to the additional pressures that this would place on landlords.
The BPF is calling on Government to publish a full response to the 2021 consultation. They believe the response needs to:
- Confirm the timelines for new minimum energy efficiency standards
- Provide clarity on the rules around exemptions and enforcement
- Provide information on the split of responsibilities between owners and occupiers
- Confirm payback arrangements and on the obligations associated with listed buildings.
The BPF also note that EPCs are an imperfect tool for understanding the in-use energy performance of buildings and, alongside setting new EPC targets, is calling for clarity from Government on the introduction of a performance-based rating scheme for large commercial and industrial buildings, as also proposed in 2021.
How can Priva support commercial landlords?
Priva supports regulatory changes that improve building performance – mirroring our own focus on cloud-based solutions that will boost the efficiency and sustainability of commercial buildings.
We welcome conversations with commercial landlords commercial real estate operators or managers who want to make their buildings more energy efficient, smarter and intelligent. Drop us line if you’d like to discuss your energy challenges.
Read more of Priva UK’s blogs about the MEES deadline (and the scale of the EPCs / MEES challenge for commercial landlords).