Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards


The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) Regulations 2015

The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) were introduced by the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015. The regulations require landlords to ensure their domestic rented properties have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of at least band E unless a valid exemption is registered.

In limited circumstances, it may not be possible to improve the property to the minimum standard, and a landlord can register an exemption on the PRS national exemptions register.

Non-compliance with Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards can lead to a penalty of up to £5,000.


What should Landlords and Tenants do next?

Landlords should check the EPC rating and MEES qualifying criteria for their rental properties to ensure they are not in breach of the regulations and take immediate action where a qualifying property does not meet the minimum standard. Further advice and guidance can be found in the links to the MEES booklet and training videos.


Tenants can also check the rating of their property online and if you believe the property does not meet the requirements, please contact us for more help.

Email address: mees@cornwall.gov.uk 

The EPC rating of a property can be found online here Find an energy certificate - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Exemptions

Energy Performance requirements. There are specific exemptions that landlords may apply for. There are 6 exemptions which can be registered:

  • Where improvements up to the value of £3500 have been made and the property still can not achieve an E rating
  • High Cost exemption. Where the cheapest improvement works exceed £3500 (no low cost measures are available).
  • Wall insulation isn’t suitable
  • Third party consent denied, i.e. Local Planning Authority, freeholder etc
  • Property devaluation
  • 6 month temporary exemption for a new landlord

The Planning Service can tell you whether you will get permission for each of the Energy Efficiency improvements. All exemptions must be registered on the national PRS exemptions register. Guidance can be found on exemptions and Exemptions Register evidence requirements. This shows you how to register your exemption.

Houses in Multiple Occupation

HMOs are not excluded from the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES). MEES applies to all domestic and non-domestic properties, where:

  • there is a legal requirement to have an EPC
  • the property is let (including the letting of individual rooms) on a relevant tenancy type
  • Individual rooms within an HMO will not need an EPC. The building as a whole may need one if it was built, sold or rented out in the past 10 years.

Historic and listed buildings

Historic Buildings, Listed Buildings or buildings within a conservation area are exempt if: "compliance with the minimum energy requirements would unacceptably alter their character or appearance". This is not a blanket exemption, it may still be possible to make improvements. This is only possible where the character or appearance is not altered. Unacceptable alterations in the majority of protected buildings would be:

  • Double Glazing
  • New Doors and Windows
  • External Wall insulation
  • External boiler flues

There are many more low impact measures that may be acceptable. The onus is on the owner to understand which works may, or may not, be permitted on their property. When applying for an exemption, owners will need to evidence that:

  • all recommended measures on their EPC would unacceptably alter the character or appearance of the building, and,
  • that none of the recommended measures could be carried out to improve the energy efficiency of the building

Owners of such properties should seek advice from Planning Department. They may be able to provide evidence for an exemption based on planning approval. They will investigate the likelihood of obtaining planning permission, or listed building consent. 

Funding for improvements

In some circumstances funding may be available to cover the cost or provide a contribution to the improvement works. This funding is available through different providers. You may want to explore the different areas of funding before starting any improvement works. There is an online tool available to assist with improving energy efficiency in the home.  Please visit the Simple Energy Advice website to explore the availability of funding. Advice about funding can also be found by contacting the following organisations:

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