The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has recently opened a consultation on amending the domestic Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) Regulations.
The domestic Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 set out a minimum level of energy efficiency for domestic and non-domestic privately rented properties.
From 1st April 2018, it will become unlawful to let F and G EPC rated properties, unless improvements are made to improve the energy efficiency to the minimum EPC rating of E, or if an exemption applies.
The consultation is seeking views on the Government’s proposal to amend the regulations to introduce a capped financial contribution for landlords with domestic properties.
The proposed amendment has been suggested to protect landlords from excessive costs of upgrading their properties, as well as strengthening the regulations.
Landlords with EPC F of G rated properties will need to invest in improvements to meet the minimum standard, which is required to let domestic properties. The Government is suggesting to set a limit on the amount a landlord will need to invest per property. The proposed cost cap is £2,500 for an individual property.
In addition to the proposed cost cap, a range of alternative cap options are set out in the consultation and the associated consultation impact assessment. In the next few weeks, BEIS will be holding various consultation workshops to gather industry views on the proposed amendments.
The Government would like all interested parties to respond to the consultation which will be open for responses until 13th March 2018.
To view the consultation and the consultation stage impact assessment, please visit BEIS website.
Andy Parkin, Stroma Certification Technical Manager said: “After reviewing the final domestic MEES guidance released by the Government in November, I was disappointed to see that it will be possible for landlords to self-certify a range of exemptions from improving their inefficient properties, and could do so if they were unable to obtain full funding for measures that would bring a property up to the minimum standard. This would seem to reduce the impact of MEES.
For these regulations to work, there needs to be sufficient penalty and a minimum of simple loop holes for the landlord.
I am also mindful that the regulations need landlord-buy in, especially if the enforcement is slow to begin with. Therefore, making the process too imposing or draconian will simply result in zero compliance.
I am therefore pleased to see that the Government has recognised that the initial guidance requires some additional work and thought. I welcome this opportunity to give further comment on these important regulations, which signals the first time that the EPC is being used outside of the EPBD since RHI, FIT and ECO were launched.
All DEAs will find themselves affected by these regulations. I welcome all comments from our members and I encourage anyone who is interested in MEES to respond to the consultation (please send your comments to email@example.com).”
In the meantime, we will be responding to the consultation in due course and would invite our members to do so too.
If you do have any questions on the consultation, please contact Stroma Certification on 01977 665 420 (Ext. 614).