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Commercial landlords to get more EPC breathing space

commercial properties EPC deadlines

The government has confirmed that commercial landlords won’t have to meet a proposed 2025 deadline to improve their properties' energy efficiency and achieve an EPC band C.

However, no decision has been made on whether plans to get up to an EPC band B by 2030 will go ahead, as the government has yet to respond to a 2021 consultation.

Responding to a quizzing by Propertymark, the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, Claire Coutinho, confirmed that no changes had been made to Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) for non-domestic properties in England and Wales, which under current rules must achieve an EPC band E. She acknowledged it was essential that the government reviewed their policy design and timelines to ensure these were still fair and reasonable.

Lead time

She explained that her department originally intended to introduce legislation in 2025 to allow sufficient lead time for landlords to prepare, but that this was no longer possible.

“The timelines originally proposed need to be amended,” says Coutinho. “This is both to reflect that the parliamentary timetable can no longer accommodate our original 2025 commencement date and, importantly, to allow for sufficient lead in time for landlords to prepare for the legislation to come into effect once a government response is published.”

Existing schemes

Planned energy efficiency targets for private domestic landlords were shelved last September but Coutinho said landlords should use existing schemes to improve energy efficiency and the standards of their properties. She adds: “We plan to gather evidence on how to improve the energy efficiency of owner-occupied homes in a fair, proportionate and affordable way through a consultation.”

Propertymark’s CEO Nathan Emerson says: “We are pleased that the UK government understands the need to review non-domestic targets, but while they remain in place, we will use the opportunity to engage with DESNZ to push for grants and advice for non-domestic property owners.”

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