Energy Efficiency & Energy Performance Certificates
Introduced in 2006 home information packs (HIPs) have been made compulsory when selling a property. Part of the HIP is a section which covers the energy efficiency of a building which is a report based around on-site measurements by a qualified assessor.
Did you know that you now have to have an EPC available for prospective tenants before you market your property for rent? Without one you could be fined up to £200.00 and risk losing a tenant.
I’ve not been much of a fan of the EPC from the start because I reckon the British public is pretty well switched on. We don’t require a silly coloured graph and state the obvious report to tell us that double glazing and insulation is good or that a thirty year old wheezing boiler may cost more to run than a brand spanking new one.
My other observation is that until recently, hardly anyone was paying attention to the things! Since their introduction in 2008 I could only recall being asked about them about .... er...... once. And that might have been a mistake!
This is starting to change however. We are getting more questions about the EPC and what they mean. So whilst I am still convinced that the public are switched on, they are thinking more about the energy usage and making direct comparisons between properties based on the EPC report.
According to the Governments figures, our buildings produce something like double the carbon emissions of all the cars and aeroplanes combined. Quite frankly I have no idea how much that is, but it does sound a lot. Think about every house in the UK during the recent cold snap, heating turned up to max burning all manner of fuels to an extent that rumours started to circulate about stocks running out and domestic supplies being restricted.
The fact is, I don’t worry about global warming. I am not even convinced that it exists. But before anyone starts complaining, I do understand that so much energy is wasted through the inefficiency of the buildings we live in. The way they are constructed, heated, ventilated and insulated all have an impact. Older properties can be useless at retaining warmth, thus costing much more to heat. If the cost of fuels rises as predicted, this will impact more and more on the way people make choices in their living accommodation.
Landlords take note, because when the public wake up to the real cost differences highlighted in an EPC, the more modern energy efficient properties are very likely start to command a premium.