Workman and MEES: It’s not just box ticking
Before MEES was introduced, an EPC was literally a ‘box ticking’ exercise and all parties involved, understandably, ticked that box as cheaply as possible. Looking back at older EPCs, many were produced without inspections. More importantly – as Adam Branson’s article (“A Waste of Energy”, Property Week 27/05/16; p.35) suggests that when information wasn’t easily available the defaults in the standard software were applied.
Quite simply, the more defaults, the worse the EPC rating. So on the back of defaults rather than hard fact, an EPC may now be creating significant risk and potentially impact value. However, if that same EPC is re-run, adhering to principles, there may be no risk whatsoever.
There is certainly potential for the EPC system to be ‘played’ and a very real need to improve training and understanding within the process.
In our experience, we would suggest that it is better to have an accurate, albeit low, EPC which can be addressed and dealt with before April 2018, than an inaccurate, slightly better EPC which may prove harmful in the future.
From the significant analysis of ratings and EPC strategy reviews we have delivered for our clients, we have also found that a considerable number of ‘at risk’ EPCs can be improved simply by re-running them accurately. This process has been found to significantly improve the portfolio’s rating.
If you have any concerns regarding your EPC management plan and MEES implications for your portfolio please do get in touch, the environmental team at Workman is always happy to assist.