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Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) were introduced by the government in April 2018, with an aim to combat fuel poverty and reducing CO2 emissions.

The guidelines state that domestic and commercial properties in England and Wales must achieve an EPC rating of at least an ‘E‘ before the granting of a new lease or when a lease is renewed.

MEES legislation is being phased in over the next five years and will eventually include all existing privately rented property.   The government has also declared their wish to raise the standard further such that the minimum standard is likely to rise to a ‘D’ rating by 2025 and a ‘C’ rating by 2030.

Scottish Regulations

Scotland has deferred joining this scheme until later in the year and is likely to use Section 63 which is currently already in force as an alternative compliance measure for non-domestic properties.

There is currently no such regulation for domestic properties however the government is in the process of confirming the minimum standards for the private rented sector alongside the wider ambitions of Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme.

Exemptions

 There are instances where a property is exempt from the MEES guidelines, for example:

  • Where it can be proved that efficiency improvements will not be cost effective.
  • If improvements will decrease the value of the property by more than 5% (must be independently verified).
  • Consent to carry out improvement works cannot be obtained from tenants or the Local Authority.
  • When a lease is less than 6 months or more than 99 years.

Exemptions last for five years and will need to be independently verified, before being lodged on a centralised register.

Penalties

 Failure to comply with MEES can result in a fine, the current rates are:

  • Domestic Property non-compliance fine: £1,000 – £5,000
  • Non-Domestic Property non-compliance fine: £5,000 – £150,000, (linked to the rateable value of the property).

How we can help

If your property currently has an EPC the current rating can be assessed to see if measures will be required in order to comply with this scheme.

If improvement measures are required we can provide an energy options review in order to assist in selecting the most cost effective options for your property.

We are also accredited Energy Assessors and can provide EPCs for domestic and non-domestic properties as well as full Section 63 assessment services.

For further information and advice please contact: enquiries@harleyhaddow.com

Download this MEES Briefing Note