First things first- what exactly is MEES?
The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards, otherwise known as MEES, were introduced in April 2018 in England and Wales, and apply to private rented residential and non-domestic property. They are there to encouraging landlords and property owners to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, and place restriction on the granting of new tenancies or continuation of existing tenancies in cases where the property has an Energy Performance Certificate Rating of F and G.
Following Consultation last year, the government published a response to amending The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 this November. The amended requirements come into force from 1 April 2019.
What will the changes to MEES regulations include?
- Introduce a landlord financial contribution amendment with landlord contribution capped at £3,500 and inclusive of VAT
- Any investment in energy efficiency made since October 2017 may be counted within the cap
- Any existing 'no cost' exemptions will now end on 31 March 2020
- From 2020, the amended regulations will apply to all privately rented property in scope of the regulations, in line with the existing regulatory ‘backstop’ date, even if there has been no change in tenancy
Does MEES really mean energy efficiency?
Landlords and portfolio managers are finding it increasingly difficult to comply with Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) whilst ensuring their properties are achieving real energy efficiencies. One of the reasons is that MEES are based around Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) that often do not accurately reflect a building’s actual performance. It is important, therefore, to find a retrofit strategy that is both effective and also meets the requirements of current (and possible future) regulations.
A better approach?
During two contributory sessions, those attending the event had the opportunity to discuss common challenges faced by landlords and the solutions being considered and implemented, as well as messages that need to be passed to industry and government. The event outcome will help the STBA to communicate member’s concerns and solutions.
One key discussion was about whether EPCs should be used in MEES, or if there is a better approach. E.g. A Whole House Approach “EPCs and the Whole House Approach” was discussed, further details can be downloaded here.
Members can take a look at the presentations below and visit the STBA website for further research and guidance.
Practical responses to MEES - Event Notes
Helene Bartos - Private Rented Sector Energy Efficiency Trajectory Policy Lead, BEIS
Nigel Griffiths – Director, STBA
Mukti Mitchell - Managing Director, Mitchell & Dickinson
Jo Lugg - Project Manager Low Carbon Estate, National Trust
Matt O’Connell - Housing adviser, Country Land and Business Association
David Taylor – Head of Corporate Affairs and Innovation, Flogas
Andrea Carvajal - Principal Sustainability Consultant, WSP