Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) are a set of rules for landlords in England or Wales to follow to ensure a minimum standard of energy efficiency in rented homes.
From April 2020, the majority of rented homes must have an Energy Performance Certificate with a rating of A to E unless the property is exempt.
Social housing and some listed buildings are not covered by MEES.
An EPC gives a rating on a property from A to G. A is the most efficient and G is the least efficient. It also advises on what steps can be taken to improve a property’s rating.
Property with an EPC rating of F or G is described in the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) England and Wales Regulations 2015 as a sub-standard property and the landlord of a private rented accommodation must take steps to improve the rating to at least an E rating, unless they are eligible to register an exemption.
To find the EPC rating of home, access a public register that provides information about EPCs.
If your private rented home has an EPC rating of F or G, speak to your landlord about making improvements to bring the rating to at least an E.
The EPC will give specific advice on what steps can be taken at the property in question, but some common steps that are taken include:
- Making sure that loft insulation meets the current standard of 250mm to 270mm, remembering that ventilation is vital
- Insulating cavity walls
- Installing double glazing
- Lagging hot water tanks
- Using energy efficient light bulbs
Landlords of domestic properties that do not meet the minimum rating must make ‘all relevant energy efficiency improvements’ so that the property qualifies for at least an EPC rating of E.
However, if those improvements would cost more than £3,500, landlords should make all improvements they can up to that figure. If improvements beyond the £3,500 cap are still necessary, the landlord could be eligible to register an exemption.
Landlords who are carrying out works may wish to use the opportunity to raise the EPC rating to at least a C and future-proof their property.
From 2025, the EPC standard for domestic private lettings is likely to be raised to band C for new tenancies, and all tenancies from 2028. Doing the works now could save time and money in the future.
The maximum cost that a landlord needs to pay to improve the energy efficiency of domestic rented accommodation is £3,500. The maximum penalty that can be imposed for non-compliance is £5,000.
There are schemes that may be able to help with funding.
Some properties may qualify for the Energy Efficiency Improvement grant (Local Authority Delivery) that is available for properties with the EPC rating E, F and G where the occupants have a combined income of less than £30,000 per year. More information is available on the Energy At Home website.
To find out more about our grant, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit Simple Energy Advice for information about other funding opportunities available for landlords.
The MEES Regulations provide some exemptions from the minimum energy efficiency standards.
Exemptions may be available in the following circumstances:
- If the landlord has spent £3,500 on energy efficiency improvements and cannot bring the property to the minimum standard
- If the landlord has not been able to secure the necessary consents, despite having made reasonable efforts. Improvements that do not need consent, must still be carried out
- If a chartered surveyor has given a report stating that specified energy efficiency improvements would devalue the property. Other non-specified improvements must still be completed where possible
To be able to rely on an exemption you must:
We can impose a penalty of up to £5,000 if there is a new tenancy and the property is still sub-standard. We actively investigate any potential breaches of the regulations and we will consider enforcement action in every case where landlords fail to bring their properties up to the required standard.
We will impose financial penalties for non-compliance in accordance with the following conditions, which may be in addition to a publication penalty:
|Rating on Energy Performance Certificate||Penalty where the landlord has been in breach for
less than 3 months
|Penalty where the landlord has been in breach for
more than 3 months
|Providing false or misleading information on PRS Exemptions Register||Failing to comply with the Compliance Notice|
More than one penalty may be imposed, up to a maximum penalty of £5,000.
To find out more about the MEES Regulations, view the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property)(England and Wales) Regulations 2015, as amended in 2016 and 2019.
You can also view full government guidance on GOV.UK
If you want to find out more about energy efficiency, The Centre for Sustainable Energy provides useful online advice.