Renewable technologies will play important part in the built environment
Published December 12th, 2017
The UK Government will continue to prioritise the environment even post Brexit and it is likely that much of the drive will be achieved through the introduction of increasing regulatory standards for buildings of all types, even where those regulations have a European origin.
This tack is already evident within new building regulations and with, for example, the introduction of the minimum energy efficiency standard (MEES) in March 2015.
The built environment has been identified by government as a major contributor to Greenhouse Gas emissions and thus poses a threat to the UK meeting its carbon reduction targets for 2020 and 2050. Government estimates are that 18 per cent of commercial properties hold the lowest EPC ratings of F or G. While Building Regulations will ensure that new properties meet current energy efficiency standards, MEES will tackle the UK’s older buildings and it is important to note that the minimum standard could rise in future.
From April 1, 2018, landlords of buildings within the scope of the MEES Regulations should not renew existing tenancies or grant new tenancies if the building has less than the minimum energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of E unless the landlord registers an exemption.
After April 1, 2023, landlords must not continue to let any buildings which have an EPC rating of less than E unless the landlord registers an exemption. There will therefore be a requirement for many investors to act.
Mark Morison, partner at property professionals Berrys, commented: “The use of Renewable Energy installations will have an important part to play in reducing EPC ratings and investors should consider their use as part of any refit or improvement works to ensure minimum standards can be achieved.
“The key issue for freehold investors is that there is a threat of reduction in value of any property assets which do not meet the minimum standard.
“Penalties will be severe, for example, the penalty for renting out a property for a period of fewer than three months in breach of the MEES Regulations will be equivalent to 10 per cent of the property’s rateable value, subject to a minimum penalty of £5,000 and a maximum of £50,000. After three months, the penalty rises to 20 per cent of the rateable value, with a minimum penalty of £10,000 and a maximum of £150,000.”
For more information contact Mark Morison at the Shrewsbury office of 01743 290647 email email@example.com