Just last year, in April 2018, legislation imposing new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) was introduced for commercial properties. Powerstar wrote in a blog at the time about the new standards, which meant commercial landlords were no longer permitted to grant new or renew existing tenancies for buildings that have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of band ‘F’ or ‘G’, with ‘G’ being the lowest possible rating and ‘A’ the highest.
A consultation by the Government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) on the future trajectory of MEES has called for the minimum EPC rating to be raised to band ‘B’ from ‘E’ for commercial buildings by 2030.
This would be a significant jump on the current regulations, and investment on improvements for buildings to meet the new standard could cost as much as £5 billion, this is due to 85% of existing commercial buildings in England and Wales not currently meeting the band ‘B’ standard .
There are caveats in the report, and alternative trajectories are proposed such as an incremental approach, but with action needed for the government to hit its 2050 net zero commitment, building energy efficiency legislation will undoubtedly be a prime target for measures to help achieve this.
Enforcement of the regulations already carries the threat of £150,000 in fines for non-compliance, and this is set to continue under the much tougher criteria. However, the good news for commercial landlords is that there are methods of achieving substantial energy efficiency savings well before 2030. Buildings with high energy consumption can benefit from a range of engineered solutions to reduce energy consumption. Whilst Powerstar’s energy saving technology will not directly affect EPC ratings, its smart energy solutions deliver benefits including reduced CO2 emissions, energy consumption, and electricity bills.
Powerstar has helped thousands of business and public sector organisations improve energy efficiency in a wide range of settings, including: manufacturing facilities, education institutions, healthcare facilities, retail outlets, and hospitality.
One Powerstar technology that can provide instant, and consistent energy consumption savings is voltage optimisation (VO). The National Grid commonly supplies electricity at 242V, well above the optimal level for most equipment and appliances of 220V. VO tackles issues of overvoltage and regulates, cleanses, and conditions the incoming power supply to more suitable level for the equipment on-site, reducing annual electricity consumption, costs, and carbon emissions.
Powerstar’s voltage optimisation solutions provide typical electricity consumption savings of around 8 – 12%, depending on the site. The predicted consumption savings figure proposed by Powerstar following analysis of the site’s data is 100% guaranteed, and the payback period is typically between 2 – 4 years.
Powerstar offers a range of other UK manufactured technologies that can improve energy management, including Powerstar VIRTUE energy storage, which has a range of benefits such as improving energy flexibility and power resilience, and when combined with renewable energy generation can maximise on-site generation further contributing to energy efficiency.
Whilst the proposed tightening of regulations is a significant step up, landlords have sufficient time to implement improvements to meet the conditions for a band ‘B’ rating. Through Powerstar’s technologies energy consumption savings can be achieved in a risk-free manner, with a strong return on investment.