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Energy Performance Certificates will become punitive

Submitted by: MikeC (Admin) on 11-Sep-08 05:04:58 PM

Yet again, the utility of thousands of under-employed/unemployed energy assessors is overlooked in today's much vaunted £910 million energy announcement. Indeed, after today's announcement, I wouldn't be surprised - nor would I blame - if all DEAs left the industry completely to become loft and cavity wall insulators!

Following today's (11th September 2008) announcement of additional insulation measures to help struggling householders, the National Insulation Association (NIA) and its members welcomes the news and is readying itself for the influx of resulting enquiries.

National Insulation Association

£910m energy package
  • Free cavity wall and loft insulation for pensioners and poor households
  • 50% off cost of insulation for all households
  • Freeze on this year's bills for half a million poor consumers
  • Partial reversal of cut to warm front programme giving free central heating to poorest pensioners
  • Cold weather payments to go up from £8.50 a week to £25 a week for pensioners, disabled people and unemployed families with children under five - if temperatures drop below zero for seven consecutive days
  • £1.30 per household, per week

    In August 2007, energy companies agreed to splash £2.5 billion over three years in 'green grants' to homeowners (although that figure is today mysteriously quoted as £2.8 bn!).

    Earlier this year, an additional £225 million in social tariffs for low income households was pledged over three years.

    Rob Marris, Labour MP for Wolverhampton South West, put today's announcement into perspective on Radio 4's The World at One programme. He calculated that all the packages put together works out to £1.30 per household, per week.

    • £2.8bn (green grants) = 0.80p/week/household
    • £225m (social tariffs) = 0.30p/week/household
    • £910m (today's announcement) = 0.20p/week/household
    Did you know?

    In Canada, homeowners can claim up to $10,000 in grants to retrofit homes with energy-saving improvements on the back of an energy audit. They even subsidise 50% of the cost of the audit.

    Stay with me here...

    Energy Performance Certificates as a tool

    As energy prices rise, Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) grow in influence. Trouble is, that influence becomes increasingly punitive to homesellers and landlords as a result.

    Home-buyers and renters will eventually take note of EPCs. Homesellers and landlords, naturally, will become increasingly concerned about the impact they may have (particularly when they're completely wrong and force homes off the market).

    Of course, the better off can either pay for the appropriate improvements before selling-up or simply ignore the EPC for the home they are buying - but for most, it's simply not that easy.

    When will the Government leverage the EPC and use it as a passport to improvement grants that homeowners will welcome?

    The country is in the shit, energy-wise. Each time this Government "pre-sells" some forthcoming announcement I think, "Surely now they will utilise this workforce!". Each time I'm left deflated.

    The country is stuck with EPCs under EU regulations, why not build on it instead of watching it ground like a ship in the ebbing tide of the housing market?

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