Changes to energy efficiency law provide lighting upgrade opportunities

Category: Energy
Changes to energy efficiency law provide lighting upgrade opportunities

Forthcoming changes to EPCs (Energy Performance Certificates) will force one in five landlords to upgrade their properties. Here at Greenlite we believe the quickest wins to ‘get compliant’ are through lighting efficiency upgrades.

New law and what it means for commercial landlords

As most of today’s commercial landlords should know, an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a legal document. It sets out a building’s energy efficiency rating from A (very efficient) to G (inefficient).

Changes involving EPCs are coming as part of new law; the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES). Falling into place in April 2018, MEES requires rented commercial premises to have a rating of at least E.

Therefore, buildings with an F or G rating must upgrade to comply. Estimates suggest approximately 20% of UK business properties could be in the F & G rating brackets.

That means a great many commercial landlords will need to make efficiency upgrades, to get their buildings up to scratch.

The story’s that simple. About a fifth of UK commercial buildings must be upgraded within three years. Lighting upgrades will be an important part of this. Some people are calling it the biggest ever legal shake up, to get UK energy efficiency really happening.

Don’t leave it until the last minute – the new law is an opportunity

The new rules don’t kick in until April 1, 2018, but at Greenlite we urge early adoption; there is no reason to delay. MEES is an opportunity as well as a tick box exercise. For a start, energy efficient lighting increases rental values and offers more comfortable workplaces. It’s a solution that pays back.

There are other reasons to act quickly: For larger portfolios, planning and financing necessary upgrades will take time. The sooner you get started, the safer you are against any fees for non-compliance. Planning, safe in the knowledge that your buildings will be compliant and efficient at the right price, is key.

Lighting upgrades are a quick win

Even before MEES, upgrading lights was widely known as a quick win to improve a building’s EPC rating. It can be very fast, and very simple to implement. Fitting LEDs or improved fluorescent tubes is quick, but impacts substantially on achieving the necessary efficiency rating.

Statistics from The Carbon Trust suggest up to 40% of a building’s electricity use is accounted for by lights. Therefore, upgrades here could deal with almost half the work required to meet MEES lighting law.

Greenlite is here to help

With MEES, the cost of improvements falls upon landlords. Fortunately, Greenlite understands the challenges of effectively financing efficiency improvements.

With this in mind, we offer the Carbon Trust and Siemens-backed finance scheme which is ideally suited to MEES requirements. It means landlords and property developers need not pay upfront. It’s designed to offer flexibility, security and ensure you are saving money from the outset.

A quick checklist to help meet MEES requirements

In addition to investigating Greenlite’s financing options, we’ve developed this quick checklist to help you prepare for MEES:

1.       Ensure EPCs are up to date for all properties within your portfolio 2.       Consult individual EPCs to determine any improvements needed to achieve an E rating or above 3.       Establish financing to pay for any improvements 4.       Tender for contractors to carry out the work 5.       Set a schedule for works to ensure they are completed well before April 1, 2018

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