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Discussions on minimum EPCs in non-domestic buildings continues

14 January 2020

Following the government's previous changes to legislation for the leasing of non-domestic buildings, discussions are continuing over recommendations for further changes within the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES).

Since April 2018 it has been illegal to lease non-domestic buildings with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of F or G.

With the government since committing to achieve net zero carbon by 2050, it is expected that further legislation will be introduced to assist with reducing energy use, including MEES, with minimum EPC ratings of B proposed for non-commercial buildings by 2030.

Following the latest government consultation, industry experts have shared their thoughts and outlined the savings that could be introduced by further reducing minimum EPC ratings with the aim of subsequent reductions in carbon emissions. http://

One of the most in-depth responses has been from the Better Buildings Partnership (BBP), which confirms its support for the government's aims to reduce emissions and energy use.

Its document also lists the main challenges resulting from the reduction to an EPC rating of B by 2030.

These include the concern that the "costs and resources required by the industry to meet the trajectories have been significantly underestimated".

The BBP also questions the adequacy of EPCs as a tool to support the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Further concerns include the lack of adequate monitoring or enforcement regimes and inconsistencies in assessor qualities.

The full BBP response document can be viewed here.

Veolia UK chief technology and innovation officer Richard Kirkman said that using an EPC rating of B would result in savings of 5.4MtCO2e, reduce energy use by 12.4TWh and save businesses £1bn.

"As contributors to the BEIS call for evidence Veolia fully supports the government's ambition to tighten the MEES and power green energy investment in buildings, which could deliver an overall value of £6.1bn to the UK economy."

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