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HIPs branded ‘Mickey Mouse’

Energy performance certificates, part of the home information pack, have been criticised for lacking robustness. Homeowner Eric Lowe called H&V News to complain about the energy performance certificate element of a home information pack he had bought. He criticised the energy ratings procedure for not being able to cope with both thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) and zone control in its calculations, and for not taking solar gain into account. Mr Lowe, who got a rating for his five bedroom house, said: “The Government is developing systems that can have an impact on the value of my home, so these systems must be robust, not Mickey Mouse. “The pack lacks flexibility. It does not take into account that a home, like mine, may have both zone control and TRVs. It must be one or the other. “It also assumes that any glass surface means heat loss but often it can also result in solar heat gain, as is the case with my house.” Mr Lowe had no complaints about the company that carried out the survey, or the energy rating he received, but felt the test methodology could have been better. He criticised the test for not being subjective, and felt it would be useful if assessors could take notes on exceptional features relating to specific properties, which he said was absent from the process. Neither the Government department responsible for home information packs, Communities and Local Government, nor the Building Research Establishment, which helped to develop the format of energy performance certificates were available for comment as we went to press.