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Home Information Packs Win Commons Vote: 304 to 234

Submitted by: MikeC (Admin) on 16-May-07 07:55:29 PM

Well, the mandatory Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) - page one of the Home Information Pack (HIP) - survived quite a brutal mauling this afternoon - Who would'a thought the BBC's Parliament Channel could be so riveting for an hour and a half!

Michael Gove, the Tory shadow Minister for Housing, began by smoothering the Department of Communites and Local Government's (DCLG) Minister, Yvette Cooper with a fire-blanket of arguments against installing the roll-out of EPCs within HIPs.

He was clearly prepared for battle, speaking eloquently with passion and conviction, he trotted-out all the industry fears from the likes of the RICS, all the way to the Government's own advisory agency, the Better Regulation Commission, who themselves have openly questioned the effectiveness of HIPs legislation.

Yvette Cooper, in contrast, began rather limply - no doubt comfortable with pledged votes and a majority - and revealed little of anything new; a few Local Authorities that have sped-up local property searches; a claim of 2000 Domestic Energy Assessors having taken the DipDEA exam; and a projection of around 5000 - 5500 DEAs eventually qualifying, shortly after the HIPs launch in just 2 weeks time.

Cooper got into her stride eventually, albeit not until the last couple of minutes... and it has to be said; subtract the arguments of substance, from the quick-quips and soundbites ("green-plating"), and we're left with few reasons for going forward, without, at least, a re-think.

This was shored-up further when the most worrying bomblet was thrown by Lib Dem's, Andrew Stunnel, who, after persistant badgering of the DCLG for a regional breakdown of DEA numbers, in the weeks before this debate, discovered that there was actually sparse national coverage of qualified and accredited DEAs to service demand on June 1st:

National coverage of qualified and accredited DEAs:

  • Northwest: 53
  • Wales: 76
  • London: 15

I don't know how up-to-date those figures are, but they are the best breakdown we've had so far... and with only two weeks to go, it has to be a worry (not to mention a possible trigger for homeowners to rush their houses onto the market before launch), unless, of course, you're one of those DEAs!

So... only two more hurdles to go: Next week we have the Lords Debate and there's also the possibility of a Judicial Review, prompted by the RICs

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