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MEES: Shedding some light on sub-standard assets

With the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulations fast approaching, many building owners have been completing reviews of their property portfolios. However many may not realise how the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) conventions have changed since the announcement of MEES back in March 2015 and the effect this may have on their sub-standard assets.

 

The conventions which govern how all energy assessors produce EPCs are revised periodically and in fact the May 2017 update was the sixth iteration since the introduction of EPCs in 2008. Refinements of the conventions change the way in which energy assessor’s model buildings and this can impact the final EPC rating.

The good news is that in May 2017 a new convention was added which allows for LED lamp types to be assigned in a way that recognises the improvements made in LED lamp efficiency in recent years. 

So why does this matter?

The coveted minimum E rating can rest on a knife edge largely depending on the building fit-out, with  lighting design and specification having a significant impact, particularly for retail and industrial properties. If you have any EPC models sitting in draft that were produced before May 2017 for buildings in which there are LEDs and yet the rating is just shy of an E then it may be worth getting your assessor to re-run the model in line with current conventions. You may just find your asset no longer triggers MEES and now avoids any associated cost.

For example; a multistorey office building which we surveyed in March 2017 received a draft F130 rating and was largely fitted out with inefficient lighting and HVAC systems except for one floor which had been renovated with LEDs. Rerunning the model today under the latest conventions, it receives an E125 and can be lodged as it is within the 12 month time frame following completion of the first site visit. Simply by being mindful of the current conventions and how they apply to our current draft models we were able to lift a property out of MEES non-compliance.

It's time to have another look at those borderline sub-standard assets, they could have a better rating than you think.

This blog was written by Thomas Harley, WSP  Assistant Consultant for Sustainable Places, Energy & Waste. Get in touch with your questions now.