The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES)

The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard


Energy Efficient HouseThe Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard or (MEES) for short has been introduced to make certain landlords only rented out dwellings that met a minimum standard of energy efficiency. All rented properties need to achieve no less than an “E” energy rating on the Energy Performance Certificate or (EPC).

If the property is an EPC band F or G, it cannot be legally let.


The energy efficiency of the property is shown by the energy rating on an EPC. The EPC rates a property from an A the highest, to a G the lowest.

MEES was a 2 stage phased launch intended to allow landlords time to make efforts to improve their properties if they didn’t conform.

Stage 1
The 1st phase was initially introduced in April 2018. Private landlords could no longer issue a new let or renew an existing tenancy contract if the EPC was an energy rating of F or G. Energy saving upgrades would have had to be made to the property so that it reached at least a Band “E” rating on the EPC.

Stage 2
From 1st April 2020 MEES was further extended to include not only new rentals but all current tenancies. It is now a legal condition that all rental properties need to have a valid EPC on the epc register of an E rating or above, unless a valid exemption has been registered.

The rules are not intended to be onerous, but the property owner has to be taking actions to bring a non-compliant dwelling up to the required standard. Your Local Authority can issue fines as much as £5,000 according to the type of infringement and the duration of the non-compliance.

In specific circumstances, a property may struggle to conform to MEES. One example is, the costs could be prohibitive to implement the upgrades suggested on the EPC. In these instances, an exemption may be registered on the PRS exemption register. Evidence needs to be presented to support and be granted an exemption.

A property owner will still have to make realistic and cost effective energy saving improvements, even when applying for an exemption.

F and G rated propertyProperties that have an EPC band rating of F or a G can be very expensive to run and heat. If your tenant can’t manage to heat the property economically then the property often will not be heated properly. This can lead to other problems for instance mould and also condensation, and potentially bad health. These properties have a low energy rating mostly on account of inadequate heating system and insulation

Steps to improve the rating of an F or G graded property.

1. For starters, get an updated EPC.

Quite a few properties have often carried out energy savings upgrades over the years that are not showing on the latest EPC. If heating system or insulation improvements have been completed since the last EPC, this is usually enough to push the score up to an E or above. Around 80% of properties will meet the MEES standard if the EPC was updated.

2. What to do if the updated EPC is still an F or G.

After getting the EPC, get your Energy Assessor to work with you to find out which improvement(s) will help you attain the minimum standard at the cheapest costs. Not all upgrades are equal. For example, changing the house from single glazed windows to double glazed window produces a lot less energy rating improvement than you might think. In contrast to, adding a hot water cylinder thermostat, or improving the heating system controls can produce equally high energy rating points but at a significantly cheaper installation cost.

Don’t conduct any upgrades until your Assessor informs you of exactly what the rating could be once you have made that improvement. Your Assessor is capable of doing this by running a draft EPC scenario in the software. It will determine the precise outcome and will not be guesswork. If after all the aforementioned, the house is still an F or G or the suggested enhancements simply can’t be done. You can register an exemption for the property on the PRS exemption register.

An exemption can be applied for any of these reasons.

1. High Cost Exemption

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If the cost of doing even the cheapest recommendation would cost more than £3,500 (inc Vat). If you are applying for this exemption, you would need to provide evidence that you have received quotations from at least 3 contractors.

The exemption will be valid for 5 years; after this time the exemption will expire and the landlord must try again to improve the property’s EPC rating to meet the minimum level of energy efficiency. If this still cannot be achieved, then a further exemption may be registered.

2. The 7 Year Payback Exemption

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If the cost of the energy improvement would not pay for itself within a 7 year period.
The formula to calculate this is laid down in (Regulation 28(3)) of the building regulations.
If registering an exemption of this type, the landlord will need to provide copies of 3 quotes for the cost of purchasing and installing the measure from qualified installers, the landlord should also provide a copy of the cost calculations made to demonstrate this. It is recommended to get a Sap Assessor to provide the calculations if applying for this exemption.

3. All Improvements Made Exemption

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Where all the relevant energy efficiency improvements for the property has been made (or there are none that can be made) and the EPC rating is still an F of G.

4. Wall Insulation Exemption

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Where existing wall insulation systems are not suitable for the property and the landlord has obtained written expert advice from suitably qualified professionals. This could apply to either cavity wall insulation, external wall insulation, or internal wall insulation.

The expert advice the landlord provides must be obtained from one of the following independent experts:

• an architect registered on the Architect Accredited in Building Conservation register
• a chartered engineer registered on the Institution of Civil Engineers’ and the Institution of Structural Engineers’ Conservation Accreditation Register for Engineers
• a chartered building surveyor registered on the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ Building Conservation Accreditation register
• a chartered architectural technologist registered on the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists’ Directory of Accredited Conservationists.

Alternatively, if the advice is not, or cannot be, obtained from one of the above experts, advice may be obtained from an independent installer of the wall insulation system in question who meets the installer standards for that measure, as set out in Schedule 3 to the Building Regulations 2010.

5. Consent Exemption

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If consent cannot be obtained from 3rd parties connected to the installation such as the tenant, local authority, mortgage lenders etc

Once registered, the exemption will generally last 5 years; after this time it will expire and the landlord must try again to improve the property’s EPC rating to meet the minimum level of energy efficiency. If this cannot be achieved then a further exemption may be registered.

Please note however that, where improvements cannot be made because consent could not be obtained from the current tenant of the property, the exemption will only remain valid for as long as that tenant remains the tenant. The improvement would then need to be made before the property is let on a new tenancy.

6. Devaluation Exemption

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To carry out the improvement would devalue the property by more than 5 per cent.
An exemption from meeting the minimum standard will apply where the landlord has obtained a report from an independent surveyor who is on the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) register of valuers advising that the installation of specific energy efficiency measures would reduce the market value of the property, or the building it forms part of, by more than five per cent.

Any improvements deemed suitable for the property would still have to be carried out.

Once registered, the exemption will generally last 5 years; after this time it will expire and the landlord must try again to improve the property’s EPC rating to meet the minimum level of energy efficiency. If this cannot be achieved then a further exemption may be registered.

7. New Landlord Exemption

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If the landlord is a new landlord a temporary exemption of 6 months can be applied for.
Note: all exemptions would require you to provide additional supporting evidence.

The exemption will last for 6 months from the date from which the landlord became the landlord. After 6 months the exemption will expire and the landlord must either have improved the energy efficiency of the property to at least EPC band E, or have registered another valid exemption (should one apply), if they intend to continue letting.

How to obtain an exemption.

You can apply for an exemption by either asking your Energy Assessor to apply for you as your representative. Your Assessor will charge a fee for this and the price tag would depend on which exemption you are trying to get. Or you can apply yourself by visiting

You will need the following details.

Information required for all exemptions

• the address of the relevant rental property

• which exemption type the landlord is registering

• a copy of a valid EPC for the property.

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