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Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES)

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES)

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) Regulations – does your rented property comply?

In 2018, the Government introduced new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards Regulations in order to improve the quality of private rented homes in England and Wales and increase the energy efficiency at the properties.

The regulations aim to improve the comfort and conditions in privately rented homes, as well as reducing fuel poverty.

Under these regulations, all privately rented properties must achieve an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E or above. The legislation also prevents landlords from renting out properties with an EPC rating of F or G - this applies to new and existing tenancies.

Further MEES guidance for landlords.

Here, you can find out more about MEES regulations, what is expected of landlords, and what the council is doing to ensure everyone is compliant.

 

What is an EPC?

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is needed whenever a property is built, sold or rented. Before a property is marketed to sell or rent, an EPC for potential buyers and tenants must be provided. It contains:

  • Information about the energy use and typical energy costs of the property
  • Recommendations about how to reduce energy use and save money

An EPC gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to a G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years. Landlords can be fined if they don’t get an EPC when they need one.

You can check your EPC rating and find local EPC assessors on the EPC Register.

 

Landlord responsibilities

Landlords must ensure that all properties have a valid EPC and that rented properties meet at least an E rating unless a valid exemption has been registered.

Recommendations for energy efficiency improvements can be found on the EPC for the property.

Properties with older EPCs might have already undergone work to meet required standards, but not have an updated EPC. As such the current EPC may no longer reflect the energy efficiency of the property. Landlords should check their EPCs and consider renewing them if they have undertaken the appropriate works.

The EPC rating of a property cannot be considered in isolation. Even if a property meets an EPC rating of E, landlords will need to provide adequate heating and thermal comfort. 

By guaranteeing homes meet the energy standards, landlords can also help to tackle fuel poverty, as well as reducing the amount of energy needed to heat and power a home, which will also reduce CO2 emissions in Chesterfield.

 

What is Chesterfield Borough Council doing to ensure all properties meet MEES Regulations?

Chesterfield Borough Council is encouraging all private landlords to check the EPC ratings on their properties to ensure they are complying with new regulations and avoid a heavy fine.

The council has proactively identified a number of privately rented properties across that are failing to meet these standards and is asking those landlords to step up and make energy efficiency improvements to their properties as soon as possible.

Enforcement action will be considered against landlords that fail to improve the EPC rating of a rented property to at least an E and/or do not comply with a Compliance Notice. Non-compliance with MEES regulations can lead to a penalty of up to £5,000.

Alongside the MEES Regulations, the Housing Act 2004 gives Local Authorities the power to enforce minimum Housing Standards in the private rented sector using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). This allows Local Authorities to prosecute or issue penalties of up to £30,000 when hazards including excess cold are identified in a property and not rectified.

 

How you can help

If you live in, or are aware of a rented property that does not meet the regulations, please let us know at mees@chesterfield.gov.uk or complete the following questionnaire:

Minimum Energy Efficiency Regulations MEES Questionnaire PDF (PDF 127 KB)

 

Completed questionnaires should be sent to mees@chesterfield.gov.uk.

 

What advice is available to private tenants and landlords?

Warmer Derby and Derbyshire can advise tenants on how to heat their homes efficiently. For further information, please telephone 0800 677 1332 (freephone) or email wdd@mea.org.uk.

Landlords can seek advice on how to make their properties more energy efficient and meet the New Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards legislation by contacting the Private Sector Housing Team about MEES on 01246 345748 or mees@chesterfield.gov.uk.

Other helpful advice and guidance is also available from Simple Energy Advice and Energy Saving Trust

 

How MEES Regulations can help us tackle climate change in Chesterfield

In line with the climate emergency that was declared in July 2019, the council is committed to improving energy efficiency in all homes across the borough. In improving energy efficiency, we can also work to reduce fuel poverty and make sure no-one must choose between heating and eating.

Around 60% of carbon emissions in Chesterfield come from the energy used in homes and buildings. While we can choose to use some of this energy may come from renewable or low carbon sources, reducing energy use is a far more reliable method of reducing carbon emissions.

You can find out more in our Climate Change Action Plan.

The council’s private sector housing team can also offer free impartial energy advice to owner occupiers and private tenants regarding the energy efficiency of their home. You can contact the private sector housing team by emailing mees@chesterfield.gov.uk.

 

 

Are some properties exempt from the MEES Regulations?

Although properties are required to have an EPC, there are some properties on certain tenancy types that may not be able to be improved meet the minimum E rating, meaning they are exempt from MEES Regulations.

Exemptions are defined as:

  • High cost exemptions
  • All improvements made exemptions
  • Wall insulation exemptions
  • Consent exemptions
  • Devaluation exemptions
  • New landlord exemptions

More information about the exemptions.

The landlord must register the exemption on the PRS Exemptions Register.

 

Listed buildings and conversions

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.

However, this is not a blanket exemption. If a building is protected, it may still be possible to make improvements. This is only possible where the character or appearance is not altered.

Unacceptable alterations in most protected buildings are:

  • Double glazing
  • New doors and windows
  • External wall insulation
  • External boiler flues

There are many more low impact measures that may be acceptable. It is the owner's responsibility to understand which works may be permitted on their property.

When applying for an exemption, owners will need to prove that:

  • All recommended measures on their EPC would unacceptably alter the character or appearance of the building
  • None of the recommended measures could have been carried out, to improve the energy efficiency of the building

Owners of these properties should seek advice from the planning department and apply for planning permission where necessary.

Further information is available from Historic England.

Further information on home energy advice.

 

Looking ahead

The Government has committed to long term plans on the improvement of energy efficiency in privately rented homes and has recently consulted on improving energy performance in this sector. One of the proposals is to raise the minimum EPC rating to C for new tenancies from 2025 and all tenancies from 2028.  More about the Government's plans can be found here consultation document.

 

Contact us about Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES)

To contact us about Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) please email us at mees@chesterfield.gov.uk or call 01246 345748.


Last updated on 29 June 2022