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EPCs not having impact on buyers

Government commissioned research on the impact of Home Information Packs (HIPs) has revealed Energy Performance Certificates are not having an impact on whether buyers purchase a particular property or not.

The report Home Information Packs, Consumer Focus Groups: Qualitative Research said buyers were not likely to be swayed by whether a home had a high or low EPC.

However, the report noted: 'Most felt that the majority of buyers would have already decided to buy the property in question prior to seeing the EPC and that the information it contained would do little to sway their decision to purchase or not.

'Nevertheless, it was felt that given growing concerns aboutclimate change and the possibility of environmentally driven taxes people may start to take more notice of energy saving issues in the future.'

Buyers also said the recommendations for improvement and the predicted savings contained in the report would be of some use to them in the future although no one had acted on them so far.

Sellers told researchers they were apathetic about HIPs due to the low level of interest generally shown by buyers.

The Conservatives siezed on the findings of the report. Grant Shapps, shadow housing minister, said: 'Conservatives will scrap this red tape, and the Government should use their power immediately to suspend the requirement to buy a Pack to help the beleaguered housing market.”