A Royal Institution of Char tered Surveyors report has highlighted actions the Government and the construction industry must take to raise the importance of a property’s energy performance throughout the home buying and selling process.
The report, commissioned by Communities and Local Government, was initiated as part of the Government’s heat and energy savings strategy.
The project makes recommendations for both politicians and construction companies to consider ways to drive consumer demand for properties with superior energy performance.
The recommendations centre on improvements to the Energy Performance Certification, helping consumers to make more informed decisions by making information on the property they are considering more understandable, and showing how its performance compares with similar properties.
EPCs have been required for marketed sales of homes on a phased basis since 2007.
RICS says the issues around EPC quality require urgent attention. This applies across the certification process, accreditation, monitoring and training.
CLG is addressing a number of these issues as part of its review of the EPC system, the findings and recommendations of which will be key to driving both market confidence and consumer demand.
RICS argues that the EPC needs to give householders a better understanding of what they can do to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.
The steering group recognises that the recently published report, Warm Homes, Greener Homes: A Strategy for Household Energy Management, commits the Government to launching a
web-based tool by the end of 2010 that will break down the information behind the EPC.
The report recommends that both EPC data and the methodology underpinning it need to be made publicly available in a form that allows meaningful research to be carried out and innovative new approaches developed, as well as allowing proper market segmentation and targeting of government support measures.
RICS spokesman Barry Hall said: “With over a quarter of all carbon emissions coming from homes, these measures to encourage consumer demand for energy efficient properties represent a major step forward in terms of achieving a greener Britain.
“Other professions and relevant trade bodies will also need to develop similar guidance and
information to ensure all players in the residential market play their part in providing accurate and impartial information on energy efficiency.
“Better information will strengthen the market and greatly assist in meeting the challenge to raise consumer demand for energy efficient homes.”