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Quick MEPS solutions for private sector landlords

26 April 2017

Many private sector landlords will be required to meet Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) from April 2018.

Now is a good time to take a closer look at heating system efficiency, says Tony Willis of Sabien Technology.

From April 2018, landlords of properties that require an Energy Performance Standard (EPC) will need to ensure their properties achieve a minimum EPC energy efficiency rating of E.

In most cases, they will not be able to renew existing tenancies or grant new tenancies for buildings with an EPC rating lower than this. Data from the EPC register shows that 18% of commercial stock has an EPC rating of F or G.

This means that many existing commercial leased properties will require a swift energy performance upgrade.

To that end, implementation of proven retrofit energy-saving technologies will typically offer the most commercially viable solutions.

Background This situation follows the implementation of the Energy Act 2011, one of a series of measures introduced by government to help meet carbon emissions targets.

One result of the Act was the creation of Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS), also known as Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES), under the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015.

It is also worth noting that there are a number of complexities around the MEPS regulations, such as where only part of a building is leased, so that landlords are recommended to consult the government’s Guidance for Landlords.

Fast results, fast payback For those properties that fall within the remit of MEPS and have an EPC rating of less than E there is relatively little time available to take remedial measures.

The first step, therefore, is to identify where the biggest energy savings can be made. The second step is to identify the most appropriate actions to achieve the required results.

In many cases, space heating and hot water will represent significant energy consumption and many such systems could be wasting energy in two key areas.

Boiler dry cycling The first of these is a common phenomenon in commercial heating systems, where the boiler(s) fire to maintain the set point temperature of the water in the boiler(s) even when there is no demand for heat from the building.

This is known as boiler dry cycling and can occur even when control measures such as building management systems (BMS) and weather compensation etc. are in use alongside modern, high-efficiency boilers.

In fact, boiler dry cycling happens with the majority of boilers irrespective of size or age, and particularly under part-load conditions and the associated energy waste is significant.

Preventing boiler dry cycling using Sabien’s M2G boiler load optimisation technology has been shown to reduce boiler fuel consumption by 10-25%, with paybacks ranging from 6 months to two years (figures based on installation of over 10,000 M2Gs in a range of building types).

M2G boiler load optimisers can be quickly and easily retrofitted to existing boiler systems, with Sabien taking a comprehensive project management role to minimise disruption and pressure on in-house resources.

Measurement of energy savings is carried out in compliance with the International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP).

Free pilot programmes To help landlords (and other building operators) assess the energy-saving potential of such measures, Sabien is offering free, no-commitment pilot programmes for M2G.


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