Explaining Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards involves talking about Energy Performance Certificates too. We demystify both terms for you below.

What are Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) for Landlords?

Since April 1st, 2018 it became unlawful to let residential or commercial properties with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of F or G under the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015.

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards apply to landlords and/or property owners when granting a lease to new or existing tenants. From April 1st, 2020 all private rental properties are required to meet MEES and therefore must achieve an energy rating of E or above. From April 2023 MEES regulation will be extended to include all existing commercial leases. It is anticipated that from April 2025 the UK government will raise MEES standards so the minimum will rise to a D and again to C by 2030.

To meet the MEES it may be necessary to undertake appropriate and cost-effective energy improvements to meet the minimum EPC rating of at least E.

Why are EPCs important?

The UK’s housing stock accounts for 20% of all energy use in the UK. Because of this, there is an increasing focus on reducing the UK’s carbon emissions by the government. Complying now will ensure that you are covered in the eventuality that more stringent measures are enforced, as mentioned above.

EPCs also play a part in mortgage affordability calculations. Energy costs of a home are incorporated into the outgoings of a mortgage application, so having an EPC is essential.

What happens if my property fails to meet the minimum standards?

The MEES Regulations will be enforced by Local Weights and Measures Authorities (LWMAs). LWMAs will have powers to impose civil penalties which are set by reference to the property’s rateable value.

The penalty for renting out a property for a period of fewer than three months in breach of the MEES Regulations will be equivalent to 10% of the property’s rateable value, subject to a minimum penalty of £5,000 and a maximum of £50,000. After three months, the penalty rises to 20% of the rateable value, with a minimum penalty of £10,000 and a maximum of £150,000.

Where a property is let in breach of the MEES Regulations or where a penalty is imposed, the lease as between the landlord and the tenant remains valid and in force.

How do I get an EPC?

Building Energy Experts offer specialist advice to ensure the most cost-effective compliance solutions and improvements.  With our extensive knowledge of EPC methodology, we can help you find the most cost-efficient compliance solutions. We will also ensure improvements are achieved for all ‘Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards’ (MEES) related issues.

One consultants come to your property on an arranged date to perform a full inspection of the dwelling. They will ask for information, and in some cases ask for proof, of the dwelling’s material details. These can include things like the age of the dwelling, insulation, heating system, fuel type, and types of windows. From this, they will grade your property from A (‘most efficient’) to G (‘least efficient’). This certificate is valid for 10 years.

If the EPC achieves a score of F or G, we will produce a report detailing the most cost-effective ways to upgrade the dwelling to ensure meeting the MEES. Once the changes have been implemented our consultant will come back and reassess the dwelling and produce an updated EPC.

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