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Understanding MEES (Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards)

Updated: May 13


What are MEES?

MEES (Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards), was established in 2015 as a part of the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations.

 

The core objective of MEES is to improve the energy efficiency of privately rented properties in England and Wales as part of a wider governmental push reduce carbon footprints.

 

Under these regulations, landlords are obligated to ensure that their properties meet a minimum energy performance standard.

 

What is the Current Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard?

The cornerstone of MEES is the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). An EPC rates a property's energy efficiency on a scale from A to G, with A being the most efficient and G being the least. Since April 2018, landlords have been required to ensure that their properties achieve a minimum EPC rating of E before granting new tenancies or renewing existing ones.

 

What’s Changing with MEES?

Rishi Sunak’s Conservative Government announced that it has scrapped the requirement for all new private rental properties to have an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating of C, but the government is still committed to launching a consultation on Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) in the social housing sector in early 2024.

 

This consultation may subsequently require social housing to hit the new EPC C rating target within a couple of years, whilst private landlords are instead being asked to upgrade energy efficiency where possible and will have longer to ensure efficiencies are in place.

 

What implications does this have for social housing landlords?

Compliance Costs

Ensuring compliance with MEES entails improving a property's energy efficiency with investments in insulation, heating systems, double glazing, or other energy-saving measures. While these upgrades can enhance the property's value and attractiveness to tenants in the long run, they may pose financial challenges initially.

 

Legal Obligations and Penalties

Non-compliance with MEES can result in severe consequences for all landlords. Failure to adhere to the minimum standards could lead to financial penalties, restrictions on renting out the property, or even reputational damage. Therefore, it's imperative for landlords to stay informed about their legal obligations and take proactive steps to meet them.

 

Tenant Attraction and Retention

Despite the initial investment, MEES compliance can offer several benefits for landlords. Energy-efficient properties tend to have lower utility bills, which can make them more appealing to tenants. Additionally, as energy efficiency becomes an increasingly significant factor for renters, complying with MEES can enhance a landlord's reputation and help attract and retain tenants in the long term.

 

Challenges and Opportunities

While MEES presents challenges for landlords, it also offers opportunities for innovation and differentiation in the rental market. Landlords who embrace energy efficiency not only contribute to environmental sustainability but also position themselves as responsible and forward-thinking property managers. Moreover, with the rising demand for eco-friendly housing, MEES compliance can become a competitive advantage for landlords seeking to stand out in the market.

 

Is it still worth improving EPC ratings if you are a private landlord?

Although private landlords have been given a short reprieve in terms of MEES target deadlines, we would still recommend that landlords start putting improvements in place and plan for upgrades to energy efficiency as soon as possible to avoid any penalties in future.

 

Not only could targets once again be reinstated with a change in government, but implementing any changes will take time and money, which are best budgeted for early.


 

NRG Assessments are experts in EPCs and MEES guidelines and can help all landlords plan for property upgrades in readiness for changes in government guidelines. Give us a call or get in touch today to discuss your requirements.





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