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Consultations and research announced in drive for net zero in the commercial property sector

Wednesday 24 March 2021

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is looking for views from the sector on how best to implement energy efficiency plans for commercial and industrial buildings in England and Wales.

The first consultation sets out the UK Government’s proposals to introduce a performance-based policy framework for rating the energy and carbon performance in large commercial and industrial buildings.

The consultation will be carried out in two parts, with the first outlining the rationale of the policy while the second looks at its implementation. The UK Government is welcoming responses from those with an interest in these proposals, including, but not limited to, owners and tenants of commercial and industrial buildings above 1,000m2 and investors, asset managers, and lenders for these types of properties.

Improving implementation

The second consultation comes on the back of the UK Government’s 2019 consultation on a future regulatory target for the Non-Domestic Private Rented Sector (PRS) Regulations of EPC B by 2030. The subsequent 2020 Energy white paper confirmed that the minimum energy efficiency target for the non-domestic sector will be EPC B by 2030.

Responses to the 2019 consultation raised some issues with the implementation and enforcement of the regulations. As a result, the new consultation sets out proposals to improve these areas and ensure the policy can be delivered in practice and is now seeking feedback from the sector.

Both consultations close on 9 June 2021 and can be found on the consultation page on the UK Government website linked below:

Consultation: Introducing performance-based policy framework for rating the energy and carbon performance in large commercial and industrial buildings in England and Wales

Consultation: Non-domestic PRS minimum energy efficiency standards

First three years evaluated

BEIS has now released its research paper on the introduction and implementation of the minimum energy efficiency standards for non-domestic properties in the private rented sector (PRS MEES) which came into force in April 2018.

Along with BEIS, the research was conducted by ICF and The Behavioralist and included qualitative interviews and focus groups with local authorities and other stakeholders, as well as further data analysis.

View the research paper