Starting April 1, 2023, brace yourselves for the new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulations. These regulations decree that it shall be unlawful to rent out a property with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating below an ‘E’.
The disconcerting truth is that a mere handful of landlords are aware of their current EPC rating, and even fewer possess the knowledge of the EPC rating they ought to meet by April. Regrettably, the awareness surrounding the EPC rating system and the methods to diminish a property’s EPC rating remains disappointingly low.
Fast forward to April 2025, and there are further alterations on the horizon. The government, seeking to tighten the reins, recently initiated discussions on requiring all new tenancies in England and Wales to meet an Energy Performance Certificate rating of ‘C’ by April 1, 2025, while existing tenancies must comply by April 1, 2028. Naturally, the MEES regulations will undergo revisions to accommodate these changes, but the specifics of the adjustments are yet to be unveiled.
As things stand, the current MEES regulations incorporate a cost cap of £3,500. Essentially, this implies that landlords can seek an exemption from compliance if an energy efficiency enhancement surpasses this financial threshold. Come 2025, however, the cost cap is set to skyrocket to £10,000, reflecting the reality that attaining a ‘C’ rating from an ‘E’ rating will necessitate more substantial and costly improvements.
Landlords in Wales find themselves particularly anxious about this amplified cost cap, as properties in this region are renowned for their modest price tags and notoriously lackluster energy efficiency ratings. In light of this, various industry bodies are imploring the Welsh Government to step up and furnish funding options to facilitate the mandated upgrades, such as grants or interest-free loans.
While it is undeniable that certain landlords will be burdened with more extensive and financially demanding enhancements, it is worth keeping in mind that there exist several cost-effective or even complimentary measures that can elevate a property’s EPC rating. For instance, adjusting thermostats, scrutinizing heating and cooling control settings, conducting regular servicing of boilers and other essential equipment, improving insulation, and substituting energy-draining lightbulbs with efficient LEDs can all contribute to a commendable EPC rating uplift.