Briefing Note 2020 – Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards
Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) were introduced by the government in April 2018, with an aim to combat fuel poverty and reducing CO2 emissions.
The guidelines state that domestic and commercial properties in England and Wales must achieve an EPC rating of at least an ‘E‘ before the granting of a new lease or when a lease is renewed.
MEES legislation is being phased in over the next five years, from 1st April 2023 it will be against the law for any existing letting to be below the minimum rating of ’E’.
The government has also declared their wish to raise the standard further such that the minimum standard is likely to rise to a ‘D’ rating by 2025 and a ‘C’ rating by 2030. For buildings to achieve Zero Carbon it is likely that a minimum standard of ‘B’ will be required by 2035.
Scotland has taken an alternative approach where non-domestic buildings over 1,000m2 must meet the technical standards set out in the 2002 Scottish Building Regulations. If a building fails this standard, an asset action plan, known as a Section 63 Assessment, must be carried out by an accredited person.
There is currently no such regulation for domestic properties however the government is in the process of confirming the minimum standards for the private rented sector alongside the wider ambitions of Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme.
There are instances where a property is exempt from the MEES guideline if the can demonstrate one of the following:
- Where it can be proved that efficiency improvements will not be cost effective
- If improvements will decrease the value of the property by more than 5% (must be independently verified by a suitably qualified expert).
- Consent to carry out improvement works cannot be obtained from tenants or the Local Authority.
- When a lease is less than 6 months or more than 99 years.
Exemptions last for five years and will need to be independently verified, before being lodged on a centralised register.
Failure to comply with MEES can result in a fine, the current rates are:
- Domestic Property non-compliance fine: £1,000 – £5,000
- Non-Domestic Property non-compliance fine: £5,000 – £150,000, (linked to the rateable value of the property).
How we can help
If your property currently has an EPC the current rating can be assessed to see if measures will be required in order to comply with this scheme.
If improvement measures are required, we can provide an energy options review in order to assist in selecting the most cost effective options for your property.
We are also accredited Energy Assessors and can provide EPCs for domestic and non-domestic properties as well as full Section 63 assessment services.
Get in Touch
Please get in touch if you have a general query or you would like to discuss provision of an EPC for your property or assistance in developing an energy reduction strategy.
We offer our comprehensive Energy and Sustainability services in addition to our core MEP Engineering design and would be pleased to get involved in the planning stages of a project to inform the design process as early as possible.
We can also offer a short presentation to your team on any aspect of Energy and Sustainability of interest which can be arranged at a time to suit you.
T: 0131 225 7117 (Edinburgh Office)