Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES)
The MEES regulation sets a minimum energy efficiency level for private rented properties in England and Wales. The regulations came into effect in April 2018 with a grace period of two years for tenancies which had started before April 2018. This means that in April 2020, all rented properties must meet a minimum energy efficiency rating of ‘E’, on a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
Failure to comply can result in steep fines (up to £2,000 at the first compliance notice and up to £5,000 if the property continues to be rented for over three months).
How can I check what EPC rating my property is?
If you are renting a property or have bought a property within the last 10 years, your property would have or should have an EPC certificate, as it is a legal requirement to have a valid certificate in order to rent or sell a property.
An EPC is valid for 10 years, and the certificate must be publicly available on the EPC register.
You can search the EPC register by using the full address of the property.
What does this mean in practical terms?
If you find that your property’s Energy Efficiency rating is either ‘F’ or ‘G’, don’t panic! Keep calm, make a cup of tea and keep on reading.
First, check the date on the EPC to establish when the certificate was performed.
Then, read through the certificate and note if you have made any changes to the property since then i.e. installed double glazing, upgraded to a combi boiler or immersion heater, insulated the loft, switched to energy efficient light bulbs (LED), etc. If so, it’s time to get a new EPC certificate, as it is likely your property improvements will increase the efficiency rating.
If you haven’t made any significant changes, check the section 'recommendations’ (Figure 1 below), which provides a selection of improvements you can make and what rating you might expect to get after these improvements are made. There are often small changes that can make a big difference i.e. changing to LED light bulbs, adding an insulating jacket to the immersion heater, switching to an economy 7 tariff, etc.
Figure 1 - EPC Certificate Recommendation example
There are certain exclusions that may also exempt your property from having to meet the MEES standard. I.e. if the improvements needed to make your property comply with the MEES standard don’t have a green deal scheme available, or if your property is protected (Grade 1 or 2 listed). If you believe you may be exempt, please follow the link at the bottom, to investigate further.
Exemptions: You may be able to apply for one of the exemptions below:
- "High Cost" Exemption: If the EPC rating cannot be improved to E, after all the relevant improvents have been made up to the expense of £3,500, then an exemption can be registered on the PRS Exemptions Register.
- "Consent" Exemption: Properties in conservation areas or requiring listed buildings consent can also apply for an exemption, if it can be shown that the appropriate consents will not be given for any required improvements. Advice should be sought from the appropriate officer of the local authority.
- "All Improvements Made" Exemption: Where all the "relevant energy efficiency improvements" for the property have been made (or there are none that can be made) and the property remains sub-standard.
- "Devaluation" Exemption: Where installation of specific energy efficiency measures would reduce the market value of the property by more than five per cent.
Please note: If you have a rental property under our management service, we would have already checked that your property is compliant with these regulations and implemented any steps needed to ensure your property is brought up to a minimum energy efficiency rating of ‘E’
If you need to have your EPC certificate updated due to improvements made or if it is due to expire, please call us on 020 8892 5656 and we can put you in touch with an Energy Assessor.
The cost to have an EPC certificate carried out is approximately £80 - £150, depending on the size of the property.
For more information, see the link below to the full guidance on the MEES regulations.