Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES)
In April next year, new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) come into force. I blogged about this back in April this year and the fact that non-compliance carries a fine of up to £150,000!
So it’s very worrying to read research by EON which suggests 21% of landlords expect to have to spend over £1,000 on energy efficiency over the next 5 years.
Even more worrying is research by LetBritain that suggests 34% of landlords still don’t even know that they have to provide an Energy Performance Certificate for their property.
The new regulations – a quick recap
The 2015 Energy Efficiency Regulations set out minimum energy efficiency standards for England and Wales. These regulations mean that from April 2018, it will be unlawful to grant a new lease of a property if it has an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating below E, unless the property is registered as an exemption.
After 1 April 2023, landlords must register an exemption for any building with an EPC rating of less than E if they wish to let the building.
EPCs let the person who will use the building know how costly it will be to heat and light, and what its carbon dioxide emissions are likely to be.
For more information about the exemptions and non-compliance penalties, just visit our previous blog about Minimum Energy Efficient Standards (MEES).
Mitigating the impact
Back in April, I made the point that the regulations aren’t all doom and gloom, and forward-thinking landlords have the potential to increase rental and asset value by making energy efficiency improvements and combining these with other upgrades.
This remains the case, and having a highly energy efficient property (which therefore attracts lower bills) may make your property the stand out property for potential tenants.
Check any existing EPC
If your property has an existing EPC, it will highlight cost-effective ways to achieve a better rating. This can be a good place to start a thorough review of your property’s energy performance and identify areas for improvement.
Next, check the basics:
- Windows and doors. Poorly insulated windows can account for 10%+ of heat loss. Double glazed windows or secondary glazing can make a significant difference. Secondary glazing is not quite as effective as double glazing but is more affordable.
Also check areas prone to drafts such as doors, letterboxes and even keyholes. Replacing old doors to exclude drafts (and improve security) can be a quick win.
- Walls and lofts. Consider the construction of the property. Older properties with solid walls as well as newer ones, with cavity walls, can both benefit from additional insulation. It can be relatively easily applied and make a big difference to energy loss.
Also, check the quality of the loft insulation and whether it is complete. Loss of heat through the roof can amount to a quarter of a property’s overall heat loss.
- Boiler. Check the boiler and consider whether an upgrade is appropriate.
- Solar panels (which help heat the house) may seem like a big investment but could make a difference long term.
It’s also worth exploring any other new technology which could have an impact long-term and be attractive to potential tenants.
For landlords who are worried about the costs, financial support may be available through the Energy Company Obligation if tenants meet certain qualifying criteria.
However, the most important thing at this stage is to be aware of your responsibility and to take the appropriate measures. Failure to do so, may not only open you up to the risk of a substantial fine but could leave you with a property that is empty and unrentable.
Graham Faulkner is Branch Director of EweMove Dorking
He’s bought and sold a lot of properties over the years and is also a portfolio landlord, as well as specialising in helping other landlords. Apart from his own experience and expertise, he can also recommend the right professionals, as tried and tested by him, to advise you.
Multi-award winning EweMove in Dorking is a residential property sales and lettings agency who pride themselves on being refreshingly different and standing out from the crowd. EweMove Dorking covers from Ockley to Oxshott.
Enquiries to 01306 406 506 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org