A recent blog on a major newspaper’s website was damning in its indictment of the EPC claiming “the government sought to give the [HIP] scheme a spurious veneer of environmental legitimacy by insisting they contain information about energy-efficiency levels”. But contrary to the flurry of criticism surrounding Home Information Packs and EPCs, I would suggest many less vociferous industry leaders remain in their favour.
Admittedly, energy ratings are unlikely to sway a consumer’s decision over whether to buy a home but that doesn’t negate their value once buyers have settled in a property. People are interested in reducing their homes’ running costs. There is also an increasing awareness about carbon footprints and the EPC contains information about both. With fuel bills soaring 35% for this winter, knowing how energy efficient your home is, is becoming more and more valuable.
The financial support the government offers landlords for making rental properties more energy efficient should improve the energy efficiency of such homes in the UK. EPCs will help provide a catalyst for this. Indeed, landlords should consider using the EPC as a marketing tool. Tenants will be attracted to homes that will cost them less to heat and light. It’s a real commercial advantage.
With the country’s buildings pouring out 45% of all carbon emissions in the UK, curbing this source of emissions will continue to be high on the government’s list of priorities. It is far too early for EPCs to have had a significant impact as yet, but with the population attaching increasing importance to energy efficiency and the real impact it is starting to have on their lives, we will see a marked increase in the profile, interest and application of EPCs in the future.