The Department for Energy and Climate Change, the department that developed the regulations to prevent landlords renting energy inefficient homes from 2018 has been acknowledged in the World Green Building Council’s European Leadership Awards for 2015.

The new regulations, known in the UK as “Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards” (MEES) were developed by the Department for Energy and Climate Change under the last Coalition Government. They mean that from April 2018 landlords will be prohibited from renting out homes and non-domestic buildings which fail to meet minimum energy efficiency ratings; those falling into Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Bands ‘F’ and ‘G’.

In addition, from April 2016 tenants will be able to force their landlords to make energy efficiency improvements where the property fails to meet minimum standards.

Richard Griffiths, Senior Policy Advisor at the UK Green Building Council, has said:

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“This award demonstrates the huge impact MEES can have – and indeed are already having – on the private rented sector, and the degree of international interest in replicating them if successful.

“But getting MEES on the statute books is only the start of a long journey. In the context of recent damaging cuts to building-related energy and climate policies, careful and effective implementation of these potentially game-changing regulations will be vital if they are to transform the energy efficiency of privately rented buildings.”

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) were introduced in the UK in 2008, but at the time with no requirement to act in any way about the EPC assessment recommendations. There was no obligation on landlords to change their building’s energy performance – until now.

Peter Leggett, carbon and energy consultant at IMServ, one of the UK’s largest independent energy data management providers, has said:

“A typical building rated F or G could be a 1950s office block. These buildings usually have a boiler room in the basement, air-handling equipment on the roof and fluorescent tubes for lighting. In these cases, often the energy system hasn’t been upgraded since the building was built, however small changes, such as LED lighting or localised heating controls, could make significant improvements to the building’s EPC.”

The same applies to many rented houses, particularly those older rented terrace properties with solid walls (no cavity) and inadequate loft and floor insulation, older inefficient boilers and no double glazing. Some of these will require innovative methods to bring them up to standard.

Leaving things to the last minute to comply with changes in legislation is not an option, given the time needed to effect the improvements in many cases. All landlords should be acting now to assess their properties to find out what work is involved and the likely cost so this can be factored into their maintenance budgets.

Find out more about the help you can get on energy saving in your properties here:

The Private Rented Sector Energy Efficiency Regulations (Domestic)

The Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme (ESOS)

The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES)

The UK Green Building Council

The World Green Building Council

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