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The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES)
From 1st April 2018 private landlords can no longer issue a new let or renew an existing tenancy agreement if the EPC is an energy rating of F or G. Energy saving improvements will have to be made to the property so it reaches at least a Band E rating on the EPC.
From 1st April 2020 MEES will be further extended to include not just new lets but all existing tenancies.
Landlords need to be aware of their obligations and make early efforts to ensure their properties are compliant. Fines of up to £5,000 can be enforced depending on the type of the infringement and the length of non-compliance.
In certain cases, a property may not be able to comply with MEES. For example, the costs may be prohibitive to implement the improvements recommended on the EPC. In these cases, an exemption can be registered on the PRS exemption register. Evidence needs to be provided to support and be granted an exemption.
A landlord will still need to make practical and cost effective energy saving improvements, even if applying for an exemption.
Properties that have an EPC band rating of F or G are expensive to run and heat. If the tenant can’t afford to heat the property economically then the property often is not heated adequately. This can lead to other problems such as mould and condensation.
These properties have a low energy rating mostly because of poor heating and insulation. MEES however, it’s not all doom and gloom for landlords, as grants are often available to improve insulation and heating.
What you need to do if your property is an F or a G rating.
1. Firstly, get an updated EPC.
Many properties have often had energy savings improvements over the years that are not showing on the current EPC. Around 80% of properties will meet the MEES standard if the EPC was updated.
2. What to do if the updated EPC is still is an F or G.
Contact us to find out what grants are available.
Once you have the EPC, get your Energy Assessor to work with you to determine which improvement(s) will help you reach the minimum standard at the lowest costs. Not all improvements are equal. For example, changing the property from single glazed windows to double glazed window produces less energy rating improvement than you would think. Whereas, adding a hot water cylinder thermostat, or improving the heating controls can produce equally high energy rating points but at a significantly lower installation cost.
Don’t carry out any improvements until your Assessor tells you what the rating would be after you have made that improvement. Your Assessor can do this by running a draft EPC scenario in the software.
If after all the above, the property is still an F or G or the recommended improvements simply can’t be done. You would be able to register an exemption for the property on the PRS exemption register.
An exemption can be applied for any of these reasons.
- Where all the relevant energy efficiency improvements for the property has been made (or there are none that can be made) and the EPC rating is still an F of G.
- Where a recommended measure is not a “relevant energy efficiency improvement” because the cost of installing it cannot be wholly financed at no cost to the landlord. In this case the landlord needs to ensure they have tried to access current grant funding schemes such as Energy Company Obligation (ECO), Green Deal Finance, Local Authority grant schemes.
- Where existing wall insulation systems are not suitable for the property and the landlord has obtained written expert advice from suitably qualified professionals.
- If consent cannot be obtained from 3rd parties connected to the installation such as the tenant, local authority, mortgage lenders etc
- To carry out the improvement would devalue the property by more than 5 per cent.
- If the landlord is a new landlord a temporary exemption of 6 months can be applied for.
Note: all exemptions would require you to provide additional supporting evidence.
With the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard nearly upon us, we have seen an increase in enquiries from landlords wanting either EPCs or surveys for insulation. The feedback is that these landlords don't want to get caught short with vacant properties that require...
Hello and welcome. My name is Rickie Dickson and welcome to the start of our Minimum Energy Efficiency Scheme (MEES) blog. We would like your feedback on your experiences regarding MEES. Are you finding it troublesome? Are you finding it trouble free? Do you have any...
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