Charity demands swift reforms for outdated EPC system

Charity demands swift reforms for outdated EPC system

9:54 AM, 5th February 2024, About 4 weeks ago 42

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One charity is calling for major reforms to EPC’s saying the current system is “not fit for purpose”.

The Building Research Establishment (BRE) demands reforming EPCs to be net zero-ready claiming it will help decarbonise UK homes.

The charity is calling on the government to cut the validity of EPCs from ten to five years.

All make our homes better

A report by the BRE argues homes are changing rapidly and an EPC’s ten-year lifespan doesn’t provide up-to-date advice and information for homeowners.

The BRE is also calling on the government to strengthen the training for domestic energy assessors could build trust and confidence in the system and ensure that assessors can help drive the net zero transition of housing stock.

Gillian Charlesworth, chief executive of the Building Research Establishment (BRE), said: “Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) cover 60% of UK homes, and are a key source of information used in planning retrofit programmes and in government policies. But too often the public sees the certificates as just a bureaucratic necessity.

“With targeted reforms, the government can ensure EPCs can achieve its potential, as a trusted starting point for advice and information on how we can all make our homes better.”

Journey to net zero

Ms Charlesworth adds a rise in people installing heat pumps in their homes highlights the need for reforms.

She said: “The transition to clean energy in homes is starting to gather pace; the last few months have seen an upsurge in interest in installing heat pumps.

“Whether it’s clean heat, upgrading insulation, solar panels or other modern energy technologies, reforms to the EPC to make it more up-to-date, accurate and usable will be key to supporting homeowners play their part in the journey to net zero.”

Low-carbon heating over the next decade

According to the report, 40% of homes do not have an EPC and 1/3 of homes are more likely to have a property rated below C if it’s been lived in for more than 20 years.

The BRE say official development of a provisional EPC rating for these homes could help local authorities and homeowners to identify retrofit opportunities and plan grants and support.

In 2022 just 5% of people had used the advice on the certificate to improve their home. The BRE say by making this advice easier to use, EPCs can become a much more widely used and trusted tool, particularly as millions of households transition to low-carbon heating over the next decade.


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Comments

Beaver

9:58 AM, 5th February 2024, About 4 weeks ago

What's the point in cutting the validity of EPCs from ten to five years before changing the system to make them meaningful in the first place?

dismayed landlord

10:06 AM, 5th February 2024, About 4 weeks ago

100% agree. Just another cost to pass onto the poor tenant.

Dylan Morris

10:35 AM, 5th February 2024, About 4 weeks ago

It’s all insanity anyway there’s no issue with carbon dioxide it’s only 0.04% of the atmosphere.

Cider Drinker

10:40 AM, 5th February 2024, About 4 weeks ago

Improving EPC ratings should be done across the board.

Let’s get social housing and owner occupied homes to an EPC Rating C before we consider increasing ALL properties to D and C.

To force private landlords and their tenants to have better rated homes than other occupants is nothing more than bullying and harassments.

The truth is that many homes in the U.K. cannot be significantly improved without further damaging the homes fitness for purpose (yet more damp issues).

As we strive for renewable energy, the need to improve homes diminishes. If our electricity is produced from carbon neutral sources, why do we need to use less of it?

NewYorkie

10:48 AM, 5th February 2024, About 4 weeks ago

This Net Zero nonsense needs to stop. 97% of global CO2 is created by our amazing natural world... and has been for hundreds of millions of years. Perhaps St Greta and her acolytes should be protesting next to the recent volcanic eruptions in Iceland!

Of the remaining 3%, the UK's man made CO2 accounts for just 1% of that 3%. That's 0.0003%! It's infinitesimal. China creates more CO2 in 12 days, than the UK creates in a year!

Cider Drinker

10:53 AM, 5th February 2024, About 4 weeks ago

That should have read ‘get social housing and owner occupied homes to an EPC Rating E before we consider increasing ALL properties to a D or C.’

Charles Morris

10:54 AM, 5th February 2024, About 4 weeks ago

You put in high efficient boilers, remove open water tanks and install efficient radiators and your EPC goes down!!!! Because they're electric and not fossil fueled gas! Ridiculous

Dylan Morris

12:11 PM, 5th February 2024, About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by NewYorkie at 05/02/2024 - 10:48This madness has to stop. It’s like people believing in witchcraft in the middle ages. Humans have always had this propensity for complete insanity it’s called mass formation psychosis.
So here’s the facts about “carbon emissions”:

Methane is 0.0002% of the atmosphere completely insignificant. Carbon dioxide is 0.04% and of this only 3% is estimated to be man made the other 97% occurs naturally. Below 0.02% all vegetation starts to die off and oxygen production is reduced and we die. Nitrous oxide is likewise miniscule at only 0.0004% or 335 parts per billion. Funny how they never tell us the figures.

Seething Landlord

12:11 PM, 5th February 2024, About 4 weeks ago

"In 2022 just 5% of people had used the advice on the certificate to improve their home."

If the advice made economic sense and was based on a proper survey rather than "assumptions", maybe more people would follow it.

Beaver

12:27 PM, 5th February 2024, About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Charles Morris at 05/02/2024 - 10:54
And that is my point. What's the point of making them invalid after 5 years rather than 10...especially as their validity is doubtful in the first place.

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