Future Trajectory for non-domestic MEES

On 15th October 2019 the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published The ‘Future Trajectory to 2030’ consultation with proposals to support businesses to reduce their energy use by at least 20% by 2030. Elmhurst has now published its response to this important consultation and supports the Government’s aim to improve the energy efficiency of commercial properties.

Context

The Industrial Strategy set out how the Government intends to build a Britain fit for the future. Clean growth – meaning growing the national income while cutting greenhouse gas emissions - is at the heart of the Industrial Strategy. As one of the UK’s ‘Grand Challenges’, its success relies on the UK being able to maximise the advantages of the global shift towards low carbon.

Business and Industry are responsible for over a quarter of UK emissions, a significant proportion of which are created through businesses’ demand for energy. The majority of that energy is used to heat the buildings they occupy and therefore the UK Government is keen to bring in legislation that makes commercial buildings more efficient.

This consultation presents two options which have been provided below:

Option 1: that all non-domestic privately rented buildings achieve a minimum energy efficiency standards of EPC B by 1 April 2030, OR
Option 2:
reach an EPC C by 1 April 2030.

Elmhurst has developed a considered response to this consultation, with the key points shown below:

  • To ensure that a realistic proportion of properties are improved, we support the proposals put forward within option 1 which establishes a minimum requirement of EPC Band B for non-domestic private rented buildings by 2030.
  • Create interim milestones starting in 2023 to ensure early action, with a clear long term goal
  • Invest in, and ensure effective governance of, the SBEM methodology to ensure that it produces accurate assessments and full account of innovative products as a way of future proofing the methodology
  • The improvement of buildings should ensure a deep retrofit plan, as adopted by PAS 2035 in the domestic sector and proposed as PAS 2038 in the commercial building sector
  • Simplify the payback calculation to a straight line 15 year payback and require the involvement of accredited energy assessors who activities are overseen by an approved body. Exemptions should be time bound.
  • Introduce 'sticks', in the form of financial penalties, and a public register of those landlords that do not comply and 'carrots', in the form of financial incentives, to those that act early.

You can read Elmhurst’s full consultation response here.

Consultation on changes to Part L for non-domestic overheating and new buildings in England is expected within the next few weeks. Changes to building regulations in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are also planned.


Article published 7th January 2020

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