The government has confirmed that interim requirements for commercial Energy Performance Certificates of C ratings or above have been pushed back from 2027 to 2028. This comes after trade association Propertymark sought clarification from the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero regarding the relaxation of EPC standards in various sectors. Further funding and grants schemes will also be put in place by 2025, with one pilot program currently underway. Here’s what you need to know.

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard deadline extension

Previously set for 2027, commercial landlords and property owners now have until 2028 to meet the requirement of achieving an EPC rating of C for their properties. This adjustment aligns with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s earlier announcement that private landlords would not be obligated to elevate their portfolio’s EPC rating to a C level by 2028.

While the immediate focus is on achieving a C rating by 2028, the commercial property sector still aims to enhance the EPC rating of properties to a B level by 2030. If commercial landlords are unable to comply with these requirements under the Minimum Energy Efficiency Scheme, their assets will be unlettable.

Support from the government

To assist businesses in enhancing the energy efficiency of their assets, the government plans to introduce a grants scheme. Representatives from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) have indicated that this scheme is expected to roll out in 2025 in England and Wales. Funding can be put towards investing in new machinery and equipment, improving manufacturing processes, and other features such as insulation and lighting.

The government is currently piloting the grants scheme through the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA). With an allocated funding of £24 million, businesses within the WMCA jurisdiction can benefit from free energy audits and apply for up to £100,000 of match funding for recommended energy efficiency measures.

Still required: Energy efficiency progress

Even though the interim deadline for MEES has been pushed back, the ultimate deadline of an EPC rating of B or higher remains steadfast for 2030. With that in mind, commercial landlords should still continue to future-proof their buildings.

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