Government launches EPC consultation Central Housing Group

EPCs should last just five years and not 10 – property group

A collective of government appointed accreditation schemes has called on the government to do more to improve energy efficiency in the country’s homes.

The Property Energy Professionals Association – whose members are those schemes producing Energy Performance Certificates – has called for new policies across government departments to help improve the energy efficiency of homes.

Andrew Parkin, chair of PEPA, says: “Incredibly we are building flats in some parts of the country that are less energy efficient than those which were built decades ago.”
He adds that while his group warmly welcomes the extension to the Green Homes Grant scheme, and a consultation on improving minimum energy efficiency ratings on private rented homes to a minimum EPC ‘C’, there remain further actions the government could do.

PEPA is calling for:

  1. A legal commitment that England and Wales will enshrine in law the Government’s obligation to make all homes a minimum of EPC ‘C’ Rated as laid out in the Domestic Premises (Energy Performance) Bill introduced by Lord Foster of Bath;
  2. What it calls “a serious approach” to compliance with existing Energy Performance of Buildings regulations in respect of EPC production on homes for sale or rent;
  3. A requirement that potential homebuyers and tenants are provided by estate and letting agents or landlords, with an electronic or paper copy of the EPC on the property that they are intending buy or rent so that they can make an informed decision about the property on the basis that energy costs are generally the second highest cost of property ownership/occupancy after mortgage/rent costs;
  4. An EPC to be available before the property is listed to ensure that the property complies with the law from the start of the process;
  5. Bringing forward from 2025 the strengthening of Part L and F of the Building Regulations that set out the minimum energy performance of new homes, and time limiting the effect of historic Building Regulations in properties where construction has not yet commenced;
  6. The validity of EPCs to be reduced from 10 years to five years so that the energy efficiency information on which property owners/occupiers rely, and on which so many government schemes depend, is more current and relevant.;
  7. Allow schemes to access useful data from the government owned EPC register which will make quality assurance more effective.

And Parkin adds:  ‘We truly welcome the recent announcements by government that set out how the UK will address reduction in carbon emissions, and have no doubt about the Government’s firm intent that the energy performance of buildings will play a vital part in delivering to that objective.

“However, there are some relatively simple and effective measures that the government could take now which would have a tremendous impact in the much shorter term and improve the quality of home occupancy for so many people, and save them money, whilst delivering reduced carbon emissions.”

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