Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards for Landlords

Originally introduced in 2018, MEES regulations require all private landlords to currently have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E or above on any properties they own and rent out.

"To Let" board outside a house
The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) Regulations set a minimum energy efficiency level for domestic private rented housing

What are MEES regulations?

The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) regulations set the minimum energy efficiency level that domestic private rented properties must achieve if they are planning to be let or are already occupied by tenants even when there is no change of tenancy.

The MEES regulations mean landlords are legally required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E or above on any buy-to-let properties they own, subject to certain exemptions. It is anticipated that the minimum EPC rating required will be raised to a D rating by 2025 and a C rating by 2030, making compliance more stringent and helping to achieve net-zero targets.

The regulations cover assured and regulated tenancy agreements as well as domestic agricultural tenancies unless a property is currently empty. For empty properties, the MEES requirements must be met as soon as the property is returned to the rental market or inhabited by tenants.

The legal minimum energy rating for landlords

As of 1st April 2020, if a landlord fails to comply with the MEES regulations by letting our domestic properties with no EPC or an EPC rating of F or G, they can be fined up to £5,000 per property based on the duration of the breach and non-compliance.

If a rented property is found to have an EPC rating of F or G, the landlord must take appropriate steps to improve its energy efficiency and achieve a rating of E or above if they want to continue to rent it out.

How to meet MEES regulation requirements

Achieving an EPC minimum rating of E or above in private rented housing is no different to energy-saving measures that apply to any other property. Typical energy saving measures will include improving insulation levels, replacing old or inefficient boilers, minimising infiltration, adding renewable technologies and other retrofit works.

The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) report will make recommendations for improvements that can be made, but to fully understand the energy performance of rented houses may require a more thorough assessment of a building's performance.

Build Test Solutions offers a number of solutions for measuring the true thermal performance of buildings using a detailed heat loss calculator or equipment for testing the airtightness of buildings. These measurements help target upgrades effectively whilst ensuring the best return on investment and rental yield.

Qualified energy professionals and installers use our products to accurately measure the performance of homes and provide recommendations of what energy efficiency improvements to make.

Energy performance solutions for landlords

Understanding the current performance of private rented houses is essential to deciding what energy saving measures to apply and which will achieve an EPC rating of E whilst minimising costs to the landlord.

Temperature sensors

SmartHTC Measured Thermal Performance

A low-cost and non-invasive way of measuring the true thermal performance of a house. It requires temperature and meter data to calculate an accurate heat loss rating over a 3-week period.

Learn more about SmartHTC Measured Thermal Performance
Pulse air receiver, controller and compressor

Pulse Air Permeability Testing

A pioneering approach to fabric air permeability measurement that releases a low-pressure pulse of air for realistic and accurate measurement of airtightness of buildings in seconds.

Learn more about Pulse Air Permeability Testing

Funding energy efficiency improvements

Where a domestic private rented property has an EPC rating of F or G, MEES regulations require the landlord make energy efficiency improvements to that property. The EPC report will include recommendations on how to improve the energy performance of the dwelling as well as detail indicative costs, typical annual energy savings and performance improvement to the EPC rating.

The regulations stipulate that the landlord can self-fund any relevant energy efficiency improvements recommended in the EPC report up to a total cost cap, currently £3,500 (including VAT). If it would personally cost the landlord more than £3,500 to improve a property to an EPC rating of E or above, all recommended measures should be installed up to the cost cap, with an exemption registered.

MEES funding options

Third-party funding options may also be available to landlords to cover the cost of improving a private rented property to an EPC E rating.

Funding options may include local authority grants or funding available under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme. Where the third party funding is able to achieve the necessary improvements required, the cost cap no longer applies, and the landlord must seek all the funding available to improve the property to as high a rating as possible.

Where third party funding is available but it is less than the cost cap or unable to achieve the required uplift on its own, the landlord must partly self-fund any improvement works up to a personal contribution of £3,500.