PEPA calls for urgent energy-efficiency action

The Property Energy Professionals Association (PEPA) has called for more immediate action through policy making across Government departments to help improve the energy efficiency of homes.

Andrew Parkin, Chair of PEPA, said: “A recent article by Andrew Warren, Chairman of the British Energy Efficiency Federation (BEEF) highlighted the lack of progress in improving the energy efficiency of homes based on the findings of an Office of National Statistics (ONS) analysis of EPC data covering over half the housing stock of England and Wales. Incredibly we are building flats in some parts of the country that are less energy efficient than those which were built decades ago.

“Whilst we warmly welcome the extension to the Green Homes Grant Scheme by BEIS, their consultation on raising the minimum energy efficiency rating on private rented homes to a minimum EPC ‘C’ Rating, and the excellent MHCLG EPC Action Plan for the continuous improvement of the EPC measurement system, there are some further actions that Government could take which would truly enshrine the energy efficiency of buildings as a national imperative.”

PEPA is calling for:

  • 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
  • A serious approach to compliance with existing Energy Performance of Buildings (EPBD) regulations in respect of EPC production on homes for sale or rent
  • A requirement that potential homebuyers and tenants are provided by estate/letting agents (or landlords if they are not using an agent) 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). An EPC should be available before the property is listed to ensure that the property complies with the law from the start of the process.
  • 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. Building regulations and SAP/RdSAP methodologies should be updated every 3 years to ensure continuous improvement is built in
  • The validity of EPCs to be reduced from ten 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.
  • Allow schemes to access useful data from the government owned EPC register which will make quality assurance more effective.

Andrew Parkin added: “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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