Net zero is a big topic of conversation at the moment and, recently, the government set a target of lifting the minimum energy efficiency standard in to-let, non-domestic buildings to ‘B’, as part of its target for the UK to be net zero by 2050.

Currently, many landlords are relaxed, knowing their Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) sits at an ‘E’ rating, but with this change coming in, many will be left scrambling to ensure their premises fit in with regulation.

It is estimated that 10% of non-domestic let buildings are below the ‘E’ rating, and from 1 April 2023, landlords can only keep buildings lawfully if they are at least an E, subject to exemptions.

The government proposes two ‘compliance windows’, the first being from 2025 to 2027. From 1 April 2025, all non-domestic rented buildings in the scope of the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulations would have to have a valid EPC, and if one had expired, a new one would have to be obtained.

From 1 April 2027, the minimum required rating would rise to ‘C’, so landlords must have improved the building by then, or have registered a valid exemption. If the building possessed a ‘C’ rating as of April 2025, the landlord would be compliant with the regulations.

In the second compliance window, from 2028 to 2030, a landlord would have to present a valid EPC by 1 April 2028 and from 1 April 2030, the minimum rating would rise to ‘B’. If the building possessed a ‘B’ rating as of April 2028, the landlord would be in compliance.