New Regulations Are Coming for Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards

On 1st April 2016, the first phase of the new minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) will come into force for England and Wales. The regulations are part of the government’s strategy to improve the energy efficiency of buildings.

Under MEES, properties will be evaluated and receive an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating from A to G—‘A’ being the most energy efficient and ‘G’ being the least energy efficient. Beginning in April 2018, landlords with properties rated ‘E’ or lower will need to raise their scores or face hefty fines.

Although landlords still have three years, some are starting improvements now to ensure compliance. To lessen the impact on your business, check your current leases for the following:

  • Whether landlords are required to gain tenants’ consent before they schedule any improvement works in order to comply with MEES.
  • Whether the landlord or the tenant is responsible for the costs of required improvement works.

For any future leases, include a specific exclusion that absolves you from paying for future MEES improvement works. Also, be aware of potential provisions that may limit the use of the property to ensure a stable, healthy EPC score is maintained, and avoid any agreements to be held financially responsible for upkeep in order to maintain a specific EPC score.