Energy Performance Certificates have been increasing in prominence in recent years, and now they have found their way into the world of real estate. They are the multi-coloured stickers that are found on all new appliances, and they can also tell you how energy efficient a building is due to the rating system from A to G. They can also tell a person how expensive it will be to heat and light the home, as well as what its carbon dioxide emissions will be.
Looking to the future
EPC’s don’t only look at the short term – they look long term too as they state what efficiency rating could be achieved if home improvements are made, as well as highlighting the most cost-effective ways to gain a better rating. Once they are produced, the EPC’s are valid for 10 years.
There are a number of things that can be done to improve your EPC, such as getting loft insulation and draught proofing. Loft insulation can be a bigger money saver than draught proofing, but the initial outlay will be more. Making this option favourable for those looking to stay in the house for an extended period of time.
Draughts are a little bit like ventilation, as in they let fresh air into the house. However, good ventilation can help to reduce damp, but draughts are uncontrolled and let in too much cold air, while wasting hot air.
Draught proofing around your windows and doors could save the household between £10 and £50 per year, and houses that are draught proofed will be more comfortable at lower temperatures, saving you an extra ten percent.
The Government ruled that EPC information has got to be made available to potential buyers or tenants – not just in the windows of estate agent offices, but in media adverts too. If there is not enough room for the normal colour-coded scale, a home’s A-G rating will suffice.
Not enough being done
However, there is evidence that this isn’t being done on a regular basis by the industry.
Manchester Friends of the Earth undertook a study that looked at the amount of information presented for potential renters and buyers – and they found that not enough information was available to those looking to buy or rent a home.
The research showed that only 40% of adverts for rented property on the Rightmove website had the EPC information during the spring 2013. In January 2014, seven months after the study, and after new rules of advertising and EPCs had been sent out, only 44% of ads complied with the new regulations.
Even worse, across homes for sale and rent, less than 10% of estate agents listing properties for rent or for sale presented the EPC figures across all of their listings.
For more information on Energy Performance Certificates, visit the Energy Saving Trust website.