PEPA calls for reduction of EPC validity

The Property Energy Professionals Association (PEPA) has called on the government to reduce the lifespan or ‘validity’ of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), as well as a more ‘serious’ approach to compliance.

PEPA’s Chairman and Stroma’s Director of Energy Certification, Andrew Parkin, calls for greater emphasis on the energy performance of homes in the UK supported by government.

He said: “Incredibly we are building flats in some parts of the country that are less energy efficient than those which were built decades ago.”

As part of PEPA’s ‘shopping list’ of policy changes from government, Andrew calls for ‘the validity of EPCs to be reduced from 10 years to five years so that the energy efficiency information on which property owners/occupiers rely, and on which so many government schemes depend, is more current and relevant.’

PEPA welcomes the extension of the government’s flagship Green Homes Grant scheme, and a consultation on improving minimum energy efficiency ratings on private rented homes to a minimum EPC ‘C’, there is still room for improvement in government policy.

PEPA is also calling for:

  • A legal commitment that England and Wales will enshrine in law the Government’s obligation to make all homes a minimum of EPC ‘C’ Rated as laid out in the Domestic Premises (Energy Performance) Bill introduced by Lord Foster of Bath;
  • What it calls “a serious approach” to compliance with existing Energy Performance of Buildings regulations in respect of EPC production on homes for sale or rent;
  • A requirement that potential homebuyers and tenants are provided by estate and letting agents or landlords, with an electronic or paper copy of the EPC on the property that they are intending buy or rent so that they can make an informed decision about the property on the basis that energy costs are generally the second highest cost of property ownership/occupancy after mortgage/rent costs;
  • An EPC to be available before the property is listed to ensure that the property complies with the law from the start of the process;
  • Bringing forward from 2025 the strengthening of Part L and F of the Building Regulations that set out the minimum energy performance of new homes, and time limiting the effect of historic Building Regulations in properties where construction has not yet commenced.

The chairman of PEPA adds: ‘We truly welcome the recent announcements by government that set out how the UK will address reduction in carbon emissions, and have no doubt about the Government’s firm intent that the energy performance of buildings will play a vital part in delivering to that objective.

“However, there are some relatively simple and effective measures that the government could take now which would have a tremendous impact in the much shorter term and improve the quality of home occupancy for so many people, and save them money, whilst delivering carbon emissions."

You can learn more about the government’s upcoming Green Homes Grant Scheme here.