Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES)
Tackling fuel poverty
Luton Council has recently been successful in securing funding to tackle tenants living in cold and draughty rented properties by enforcing minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) across the town.
With an aim to help tackle fuel poverty and ensuring everyone can live in a warm home with fair energy bills.
The project aims to seek out underperforming properties in the town and Landlords failing to fulfil their obligations.
An EPC measures the energy efficiency of a property on a scale of A to G. EPCs were introduced in 2007 and, once issued, an EPC is valid for 10 years.
An EPC contains:
- information about a property’s energy use and typical energy costs
- recommendations about how to reduce energy use and save money
EPCs are legally required to be provided whenever a property is:
In April 2018 the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) made it a legal requirement for all privately owned properties to have an EPC rating of at least an 'E' before they are sold or let. The legislation applies to both domestic and commercial properties.
From 1 April 2020, these requirements apply to all private rented properties not just when a new tenancy begins. Landlords in England or Wales must ensure that their properties reach at least an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E.
Those who fail to make the necessary changes will be subject to the appropriate fines: up to £5,000 for domestic dwellings.
Luton Council will continue to seek out landlords and agents who are failing to comply.
Where our Enforcement team is satisfied that a property has been let in breach of the regulations, it may serve a notice on the landlord imposing a financial penalty under regulations 38 to 45.
There's a maximum financial penalty amount of £5,000 per property, per breach. A new breach will occur on the granting of a new tenancy.
Infringement: renting out a non-compliant property
- Penalty (less than three months in breach): up to £,2000 and/or publication penalty
- Penalty (three months or more in breach): up to £4,000 and/or publication penalty
Infringement: providing false or misleading information on the PRS exemptions register
- Penalty (less than three months in breach): up to £1,000, and/or publication penalty
Infringement: failing to comply with a compliance notice
- Penalty (less than three months in breach): up to £2,000, and/or publication penalty
See government guidance on enforcement and penalties for more information.
You don’t need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) if you can demonstrate that the building is any of these:
- listed or officially protected and the minimum energy performance requirements would unacceptably alter it
- a temporary building only going to be used for 2 years or less
- used as a place of worship or for other religious activities
- an industrial site, workshop or non-residential agricultural building that doesn’t use much energy
- a detached building with a total floor space under 50 square metres
- due to be demolished by the seller or landlord and they have all the relevant planning and conservation consents
- vacant buildings and demolition
A building is also exempt if all of the following are true:
- it’s due to be sold or rented out with vacant possession
- it’s suitable for demolition and the site could be redeveloped
- the buyer or tenant has applied for planning permission to demolish it
The PRS Exemptions Register is for properties which:
- are legally required to have an EPC
- are let on a relevant tenancy type
- cannot be improved to meet the minimum standard of EPC band E for one of these reasons
Where an exemption applies, the exemption must be registered by the landlord (or an agent for the landlord) before it can be relied on; this registration is made on a self-certification basis and an exemption will apply from the point at which it is registered.Register an exemption
In an uninsulated property, up to a third of the heat produced by the heating system can be lost through the walls and around a quarter through the roof.
At a time of high fuel prices, energy efficiency in our homes is becoming increasingly important. By being more energy efficient, not only can you save money on your gas and electricity bills, you can also prevent wasting valuable fuel resources and protect our climate and environment.
Find out more about energy advice and grants.
If you rent your home from a private landlord (not from us), and you're having problems getting them to sort out major repairs, we may be able to help you.
For more information please see my landlord won’t repair my home - can the council help? You can report your concern by clicking the button below.