Another milestone has been reached in the journey to support energy performance improvements in the private rented sector.
As of 1 April 2020, all domestic properties in the private rented sector must now comply with the 2018 ‘Minimum Level of Energy Efficiency’ standard (EPC band E). The Domestic Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) Regulations set a minimum energy efficiency level for domestic private rented properties.
The Regulations apply to all domestic private rented properties that are:
- let on specific types of tenancy agreement
- legally required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
The ADE welcomes this development, with the ADE's Energy Efficiency Policy Officer, James Griffiths, saying:
Minimum energy efficiency standards are crucial to instigate action in the homes most in need of energy efficiency improvements. The Association therefore welcomes this expansion in regulations. However, to be effective and deliver the range of benefits felt through increased energy efficiency, the standards must be well enforced and underpinned by quality.
A well enforced standard signals to both landlords and the supply chain that government are committed to making existing homes fit for the future. Similarly, a strong emphasis on quality installations can help ensure that these regulations translate into healthier, happier and lower carbon homes for tenants across the country.
ACE Research have been instrumental in pushing progress forward on energy efficiency in the private rented sector. Kelly Greer, ACE Research Director commented:
Years of research have highlighted a lack of progress in enforcing housing standards. Whilst enforcement a useful tool in a council’s legislative toolbox, in a resource restrained system it should be the final line of defence against rogue landlords. So how do we change our approach to persuade the landlords to take action? How do we promote compliance rather than betting the house on enforcement?
Landlords with Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) obligations to improve their properties, both now and as we move towards net zero, need to see the whole retrofit pathway. They need to understand what investment will be required from them, the steps that need to be taken and who they can turn to for support, grants and finance. For many landlords, they want to know that making such improvements can benefit them.
Building on The Warm Arm of the Law, ACE Research is looking to take forward research and engagement with key stakeholders to facilitate compliance of MEES. We want to build the evidence base for landlords, engage with people across the retrofit, housing and property sectors, shine a light on best practice and promote the economic, environmental and social benefits to the UK of effective implementation of regulation.
Kelly and James will reflect will reflect on current and future regulation in energy efficiency in a forthcoming blog.