Q: WHAT are the MEES and as a Landlord do I need to be concerned by them?
A: MEES stands for minimum energy efficiency standards and covers both England and Wales.
They originated in the 2015 Energy Efficiency Regulations which were passed in March 2015.
The regulations will make it unlawful for landlords to grant a new lease of properties that have an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating below E, from 1 April 2018.
This also applies to non-domestic property.
Should you already have a tenancy in place and that tenancy remains then these rules will also apply to those tenancies from April 1, 2020, for domestic properties, and from April 1, 2023, for non-domestic properties.
This is not anything new as its inauguration come about with the The Energy Act 2011 which placed a duty on the Secretary of State to improve the energy efficiency of buildings in the domestic and domestic private rented sector in England or Wales.
We now find ourselves with less than three months to go and I suspect many landlords either are not aware of these regulations or rather choosing to turn a blind eye.
As an Energy Performance assessor I compile Energy Performance certificates for properties that are let or sold and have found some properties to have poor scores.
In particular the F and G rated properties do waste energy.
They impose unnecessary higher energy cost on tenants and they contribute to avoidable greenhouse gas emissions.
The average annual cost of energy for an EPC band G property is £2,860, and £2,180 for an F rated property.
This contrasts with an average annual cost of £1,710 for an EPC band E property.
Therefore a tenant whose home is improved from EPC band G to band E could expect to see their energy costs reduced by £1,150 a year.
(Data supplied by 2014 English Housing Survey)
Improving energy efficiency measures will also support other stakeholders including for example gas boiler manufacturers, sales people, installers and repairer.
It is also hoped that competition within the markets will also spur innovation and reduce costs all-round.
It is noticeable that the more vulnerable tend to occupy homes which fall into these lower energy efficiency groups and are the very ones who tend to suffer from fuel poverty.
The methodology to compile an EPC is termed Reduced Data Standard Assessment Procedure (RdSAP) and as an assessor I am able to play around and alter my data to see the knock on effect on scores should certain improvements be made.
Likewise charges in the way these calculations are made is always being improved and only at the start of this year we moved to version 9.93.
To conclude the MEES will have a positive effect in savings to both people pockets, the economy and the environment.
As to whether you need to be concerned, this will only depend on whether your F or G banded.
However, there is no reason why any landlord with a property above a F band cannot also voluntarily make their own improvements as a gesture of goodwill to both their tenants and our environment!