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Are EPC’s the right tool for assessing Green Deal under?

by Mel Starrs on February 22, 2011

in Accreditation, Funding & Targets

This could be huge news for DEA’s if it goes ahead.

From ” Making energy performance certificate and related data publicly available: Privacy impact assessment” from CLG in Jan 2011, para 7.4.2:

Where an Energy Performance Certificate is inaccurate, it must be replaced at no charge to the consumer. Energy Performance Certificates are valid for ten years (after which, a new Energy Performance Certificate would be required but only if the property was put up for sale or rent).However, it will be a requirement that an updated Energy Performance Certificate will be produced and lodged following the installation of Green Deal measures, thereby ensuring that the Energy Performance Certificate is always up to date and accurate.

Does this mean that EPC’s undertaken by domestic energy assessors currently may need to be replaced for free if initial investigation for Green Deal work uncovers that the initial EPC is inaccurate?

I obtained the EPC for my own house (of course I should have been given it on purchase, but we either lost it unknowingly or were never given it in the first place as both myself and my partner swear blind neither of us have ever seen it) and spotted obvious errors immediately (floor area, assumptions on construction materials, etc). If this proposal gets approved, will I be able to go back to the assessor (who produced it on behalf of the previous owner as it was for a sale) and ask for a free replacement? This could have a massive effect on DEA’s (domestic energy assessors). If you want to retrieve the EPC from your own property, it’s quite easy from Landmark – only took a day or two to sort out mine.

A new EPC on completion of Green Deal sounds a good idea, but I have my reservations against using EPC (a theoretical energy efficiency certificate which gives the POTENTIAL performance of a building) to quantify savings against a target of 80% reduction in ACTUAL carbon savings in real life. The Climate Change Act 2008 commits the UK to a statutory target to reduce its emissions (from all sources) by 80 per cent by 2050 from a 1990 baseline. See my previous posts on how well we are currently doing against this target.

What is not clear from the paper is if the Green Deal providers will need to pay for the EPC data. If so, could this prevent SME’s competing with the likes of EON or Tesco for the Green Deal market?

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  • http://twitter.com/linniR Linn Rafferty

    wow, lots to think about there, Mel! On the question about inaccurate EPCs being found by green deal, I think it will be the responsibility of the green deal adviser to check any EPC that exists before basing their advice on it. Most likely, the green deal adviser will want to produce their own EPC to start the green deal advice process, so they can be sure they can rely on the data. But this is all up for grabs at the moment.
    There is an open paper on the green deal available now at http://stnx.at/bexw
    of course it only gives an outline of current thinking, and the nitty gritty is now being worked up in 4 advisory groups, paving the way for secondary legislation later this year.
    I attended a subgroup on the methodology to be used, and was impressed with 2 things –
    1 the team appreciates the need to base this on the EPC. It would be madness to introduce yet another “label” – we need a consistent, clear message about home energy performance to give to occupiers.
    2 they also appreciate there needs to be a difference between the EPC produced for a home transfer (where occupier usage and preferences MUST be ignored) and the needs of green deal (where it’s critical that these two MUST be included)! Hence a two stage process is envisaged, with the EPC being only the first part of the assessment.
    Incidentally I’m not surprised you didn’t receive the EPC during the transaction, a growing number of sales and lets are ignoring the law, and for sales this seems to be worsening since HIPs were suspended. There is almost no enforcement, and until customers start demanding what they are entitled to, nothing much will happen. I see the increased prominence of the EPC in green deal raising the profile of the EPC, so encouraging buyers and tenants to ask their agent to provide it.