Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards: What Changes Can You Make?

The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) came into force in England and Wales on 1st April 2018. The new rules were introduced to address a number of privately-rented properties that were running in a less than environmentally-friendly way, by requiring all eligible properties to meet a minimum level of energy efficiency.

What do the rules mean?

MEES applies to landlords of privately rented domestic and non-domestic properties. Under the new rules, landlords must ensure that their properties achieve a minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E, before granting a new tenancy to new or existing tenants. This means that any properties with a rating of F or G, must make their property more energy efficient by carrying out energy-saving improvements. You can get your EPC Certificate from our friendly team at EPC London, EPC Glasgow, or one of our other offices!

Landlords are expected to contribute up to £3,500 towards energy efficiency measures to improve the rating of their properties. The government expects the cost of this to be quickly recovered as a result of the energy saving improvements and consequential savings. From 1 April 2020, landlords of domestic properties will be unable to continue renting their property if the necessary improvements have not been made. The same rule applies to non-domestic properties from 1 April 2023. A landlord found in breach of these regulations will face a fine of up to £150,000.

What is an EPC?

An EPC assesses the energy efficiency of a property. The assessment is carried out by an accredited energy assessor and then given a grading of A-G based on the data collected. The most energy efficient homes will be in band A, while the least energy efficient properties will be placed within band G. An EPC also provides recommendations on how to improve the energy efficiency of the property and reduce associated energy costs. 

What happens if my property has a rating of F or G?

If your property receives an EPC rating of F or G, then you will be expected to pay up to a maximum of £3,500 towards improvements to increase the energy efficiency of your property. Landlords will be eligible to apply to the government for a High Cost Exemption if upgrades cost more than £3,500. To be eligible for the exemption, landlords must provide three quotes from different installers, each providing evidence that the cost of the required work to improve the property is higher than the spending cap.

What energy efficient improvements can I make?

Fortunately, there are a number of energy improvements that you can make to improve the EPC rating of your property and meet MEES. Here are a few ideas:

Insulate your roof

Poorly insulated roofs can be a major cause of wasted energy. Installing proper insulation in your roof will stop heat from escaping out the top of your home, and could save you up to 20% on energy bills! Even if you already have roof insulation, it’s worth upgrading this to the current standards of 270mm to help improve your EPC rating.

Replace old windows

Old windows, especially those with single glazing, can let in drafts and make it harder to control your home temperature. Replacing old windows with more energy efficient ones, should instantly improve your EPC rating by reducing the amount of energy needed to heat your home. You’ll be surprised by the difference that double-glazing can make to your annual utility bills. A cheaper alternative to window replacement, is to use draft excluders to seal any gaps and help make your home draft-proof. 

Upgrade appliances

Upgrading to energy efficient appliances is a great way to instantly reduce your energy usage. Make sure you look for appliances with the ENERGY Star certificate. A quick and cheap upgrade is to replace all incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient ones like LEDs. These use far less energy and also need replacing less often.

Replace your boiler

Although this may seem expensive, a new boiler can instantly cut energy costs and make your property more energy efficient. Modern boilers are a lot more efficient than ones installed as recently as ten years ago. New home technology, like smart thermostats, can also help you manage your home temperature more efficiently and reduce wasted energy.

Don’t wait until the last minute to make the necessary energy improvements. If you would like to discuss how we can help improve the energy efficiency rating of your property and save you money on energy costs, then get in touch with our team of experts today.

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