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Energy Performance Certificates are a waste of time and money because no one acts on the advice, according to a consumer watchdog.
Landlords have to provide an energy performance certificate (EPC) by law when advertising a property to let – but they rarely act on the recommendations and tenants are cool on looking at the information when choosing a home to let.
Consumer Focus found 80% of people renting or buying a home failed to act on any of the advice aimed at making their homes more energy efficient and cheaper to run.
The survey also revealed only one in five people who had an EPC said it had any influence on their decision to buy or rent the property – but amazingly, when asked what features in a new home were most important to them, apart from price and size, one in seven people said energy efficiency mattered most.
Tenants urged to shop landlords without EPCs
Recent government figures show that carbon emissions coming from Britain’s homes are still at almost the same level as 20 years ago, having fallen just 3% between 1990 and 2009.
Liz Lainé, energy expert at Consumer Focus, said: “Our survey shows that energy efficiency can influence people when choosing a new home. The information in the EPC is not helping people act on those concerns. With the Green Deal just around the corner, these certificates must become a trigger for action, not just a sheet at the bottom of a huge pile of home-buying paperwork.
‘Too many landlords and estate agents are getting away with selling and renting properties to people who have no idea how much heat their new home will leak. If prospective buyers and tenants could easily compare how much their energy bills are likely to be in different properties, they could negotiate a price based on their new home’s energy efficiency.”
Consumer Focus is also urging tenants to report landlords renting property without an EPC to Consumer Direct.
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