EPC System Central Housing Group

EPC System Requires Reforms

One charity is calling for major reforms to the EPC system saying the current system is “not fit for purpose”.

The Building Research Establishment (BRE) demands reforming the EPC system to be net zero-ready claiming it will help decarbonise UK homes.

The charity is calling on the government to cut the validity of EPCs from ten to five years.

All make our homes better

A report by the BRE argues homes are changing rapidly and an EPC’s ten-year lifespan doesn’t provide up-to-date advice and information for homeowners.

The BRE is also calling on the government to strengthen the training for domestic energy assessors could build trust and confidence in the system and ensure that assessors can help drive the net zero transition of housing stock.

Gillian Charlesworth, chief executive of the Building Research Establishment (BRE), said: “Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) cover 60% of UK homes, and are a key source of information used in planning retrofit programmes and in government policies. But too often the public sees the certificates as just a bureaucratic necessity.

“With targeted reforms, the government can ensure EPCs can achieve its potential, as a trusted starting point for advice and information on how we can all make our homes better.”

Journey to net zero

Ms Charlesworth adds a rise in people installing heat pumps in their homes highlights the need for reforms.

She said: “The transition to clean energy in homes is starting to gather pace; the last few months have seen an upsurge in interest in installing heat pumps.

“Whether it’s clean heat, upgrading insulation, solar panels or other modern energy technologies, reforms to the EPC to make it more up-to-date, accurate and usable will be key to supporting homeowners play their part in the journey to net zero.”

Low-carbon heating over the next decade

According to the report, 40% of homes do not have an EPC and 1/3 of homes are more likely to have a property rated below C if it’s been lived in for more than 20 years.

The BRE say official development of a provisional EPC rating for these homes could help local authorities and homeowners to identify retrofit opportunities and plan grants and support.

In 2022 just 5% of people had used the advice on the certificate to improve their home. The BRE say by making this advice easier to use, EPCs can become a much more widely used and trusted tool, particularly as millions of households transition to low-carbon heating over the next decade.

Blog Post  from Property 118

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