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.  In this case a landlord can register an exemption on the PRS national exemptions register.

Government Guidance: Domestic private rented property: minimum energy efficiency standard - landlord guidance

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

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards CC Booklet

Watch the video - Introduction to Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards

What should Landlords and Tenants do next?

Landlords should check the EPC rating and MEES qualifying criteria for their rental properties.  This is 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.

Responding to our letter. If we have written to you asking about a property that maybe in breach of the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES), please let us know more about the property.   

Respond to our letter

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

To report a private rented property that is F or G rated? If you rent a property or you believe a property is being let to tenants, with an EPC rating of F or G, you can report this. Please complete our form.

Report a private rented property that is F or G rated

Email address:

The EPC rating of a property can be found online here find an energy certificate - GOV.UK

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. Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) Requests for Exemptions. 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. 

MEES Guidance for Landlords with Historic Buildings (PDF)

Further assistance and funding

Cornwall Council are working in partnership with Community Energy Plus (CEP) to provide additional support to landlords improving the energy efficiency of their rental properties through a landlord liaison service. Further details can be found on the CEP website Advice Service for Landlords | Community Energy Plus : Independent Energy Experts (

The Landlord Liaison Officer is Nicole Solomons who can be contacted on 01872 308930 or email:

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:


There are specific exemptions that landlords may apply for. There are 6 exemptions which can be registered for domestic properties:

  • Where improvements up to the value of £3500 have been made and the property still cannot achieve an E rating. You can also use this exemption where there are no recommended improvements, but this will be very rare.
  • 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, tenant 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. Please contact the support team either by telephone on 0800 098 7950 or email them at, if you have any queries and they will be able to help you register your account.

Other Considerations

MEES is not the only standard you will need to comply with when you rent out a domestic property. The main piece of legislation governing the standard of your rental property is the Housing Act 2004. This legislates using an inspection system known as the Housing Health and Safety Rating System. You will need to ensure your property also meets our rental standard derived from this legislation. Support and advice is given to landlords through the Cornwall Responsible Landlords Scheme (CRLS), where you can have access to the Rental Standard. This covers the hazard of excess cold, together with other legal requirements for your rental property. The CRLS scheme is set up and managed by officers from the Private Sector Housing Team. It offers landlords and agents the ability to ask questions and receive newsletters on a range of subjects to do with renting properties. It’s quick, free and easy to join. We only need an email address to allow us to make contact.

Phone:  01872 324110

In relation to MEES you must ensure that any intended changes to a property’s heating system or insulation also meets our rental standard. If in doubt you should join the scheme and seek advice.

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