DCLG offers £100 incentive for early HIP purchase

The first 5,000 home owners to commission a Home Information Pack before August 1 will receive £100 plus VAT off the cost of an Energy Performance Certificate.

Yesterday, the Department for Communities and Local Government confirmed its intentions to roll out HIPs to all homes once enough home inspectors have been trained.

It also promised the £100 discount to the sellers who take on a HIP before the implementation date.

As announced last month, EPCs and HIPs will be phased in starting with four bedroom homes and taking in other properties once sufficient energy inspectors are in place to meet demand, taking into account market conditions and evidence from implementation.

The DCLG says it will need 2,000 accredited assessors and inspectors to introduce EPCs and HIPs to three bedroom homes, and 3,000 in order to cover the whole market.

Latest figures supplied by accreditation agencies show there are currently over 1,000 accredited energy assessors and home inspectors.

This is above the threshold needed to introduce HIPs on August 1 for four bedroom homes and larger.

More than 4,700 assessors and inspectors have passed their training exams so far, but in order to be fully-accredited they may need to pay an additional £300 depending on which body they have trained with.

The government also welcomed a commitment from major HIP providers to guarantee an EPC and HIP to consumers within seven working days of a pack being commissioned and to offer consumers a £100 refund on the pack if it is not produced in time.

EPCs will also lay the foundation for many home owners to be able to apply for grants of £100 to £300 to help with energy efficiency improvements such as loft insulation.

Ruth Kelly, communities secretary, says: “HIPs and EPCs will provide an opportunity to make real progress on transforming the home buying and selling process in the interests of consumers and the environment.

“The approach outlined today will phase in the introduction of HIPs and EPCs while making early carbon savings from homes.”

Housing minister Yvette Cooper adds: “EPCs are projected to save nearly a million tonnes of carbon per year by 2020, and help families to cut hundreds of pounds from their fuel bills.

“Home buyers will for the first time get energy ratings on homes – similar to consumer friendly fridge ratings – as well as cost-effective measures that will help reduce the 27% of emissions that come from homes.”