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The future of Energy Performance Certificates?

Submitted by: MikeC (Admin) on 04-Aug-08 12:53:12 PM

If you've registered with this site to have your business listed you will have seen how, using Google Maps, a circle - centred around your location - is overlaid on to the map to illustrate the area (in miles) you are willing to conduct energy assessments.

Business listings mashed-up with Google MapsIn geek-speak, this is known as a "mash-up" - the art of taking data from one source, and mashing-it-up with another: In this instance, I query Google Maps using your supplied postcode and then, with the returned result (the map), under-the-bonnet, perform incredibly complicated mathematical formulae - no, seriously! - to calculate the diameter of the circle based on the distance you specified during registration.

Mashing-up EPCs

Now imagine punching a postcode into a similar mash-up that takes Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) data from a database which is displayed when you click-on a property!


The DECoRuM® Model

I happened upon a website called DECoRuM Model back in June. The website, which is a sub-site of Oxford Brookes University, provides a working demonstration of such a mash-up using information from a trial the university ran in Oxford - although, I hasten to add, it is not using Google Maps, nor is it using EPC data... but it does give a SAP rating. 

Screenshot 1: Selecting 'identify', you can click on a property and view its energy use and CO2 emissions in a pop-up (screenshot 2).

DECoRuM map showing colour-coded properties indicating carbon emissions
(Click to enlarge)

(Note how each property is colour-coded to match the classifications displayed in the right pane which indicates annual carbon emissions per year.)

Screenshot 2:

Pop-up window showing energy and CO2 emissions data of selected property

The website says:

The main target users for the DECoRuM® model include planners in local authorities, energy advisers in Energy Efficiency Advice Centres, building surveyors as well as real estate professionals.

Home Information Packs & Home Condition Reports

The site is a little out of date, though - it also says that the application could be used 'by surveyors and real estate professionals when preparing home condition reports as part of the home information pack'.

Used by local authorities

I spoke with one of the project leaders, Smita Chandiwala, who explained how the tool is currently being used by some councils to identify - both on a macro and micro level - the energy efficiency of residential (and social) housing stock to help them comply with the requirements of the Home Energy Conservation Act (HECA) 1995 (DEFRA), which expects local authorities to formulate strategies for making "at least substantial progress" towards a 30% target to reduce emissions over a period of 10 years.

When asked whether there were plans to incorporate EPC ratings into DECoRuM in the near future, she politely said she couldn't comment either way.

Your house on Google Maps

But with Government moves to make EPC data available to the Green Homes Service, a scheme run by the Energy Savings Trust which will contact homes with EPC ratings of F & G later this year, the components will soon be in place to easily incorporate an application like DECoRuM.

And if the EPC data is made anonymous, as the Government has pledged, how long before we see Google Map mash-ups on the internet?

One can see how it could be a useful tool to quickly identify localities in need of work but would you be comfortable with details of your home being made available on the internet?

Note: the HECA is currently under Government review and indications suggest that it - or parts of it - may be repealed later this year.

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Posts: 1
energy performance certificates
Reply #1 on : Wed August 13, 2008, 14:02:00
we are seeking clarification that EPC's are required on all self contained converted properties - i.e. old converted mills - completed around 2004 - with 10 self contained apartments
thank you

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