Are energy efficiency standards too complicated?

Concerns about potential discrepancies regarding the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) have been raised by Xylem. The company argues that the legislation is becoming more complicated than first thought which could limit the legislation’s chances of success.

The aim of MEES is to improve the energy efficiency of privately rented domestic and non-domestic properties in England and Wales by requesting that such properties reach a minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E. But according to Xylem’s Mark Bradley, landlords are struggling to balance the cost and energy efficiency of their properties while also ensuring they comply with legislation.

He comments: “It’s seldom easy to get your head around legislation, particularly when you’re faced with a minefield of conflicting information. Unfortunately, MEES epitomises this issue, highlighting a conflict between what an EPC and other measures, such as Environmental Impact Ratings, consider to be energy efficient.

“An EPC rating measures the cost-effectiveness of an appliance, whereas an Environmental Impact Rating measures the energy efficiency of the device. A prime example of this discrepancy is an EPC recommending that a landlord exchanges their conventional electric heaters to storage heaters despite them being less energy efficient. While storage heaters are cheaper to run, they use more electricity, and therefore result in a higher EPC but a lower Environmental Impact Rating. 

“Ultimately, we should be aiming to reduce both energy costs and consumption for landlords and their tenants, rather than playing one off against the other. A collaborative approach to legislation like this is needed to lower CO2 emissions and decide on a true measure of energy efficiency. Manufacturers too must ensure they offer solutions that are both energy efficient and cost effective to help landlords meet the legislation and reap the rewards of installing these all-encompassing solutions.”

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