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Energy Performance Certificates – how can we improve, enhance and promote them? Part 3

Guest blog mini series, by Jonathan Ducker, Kingspan Insulation

The last blog in the series will focus on the promotion of EPCs. I will look into and make recommendations for improving this and increasing the relevance of EPCs in today’s climate.

Promoting EPCs

As well as improving the information gathered and the recommendations provided as part of the EPC, raising the profile of them would help increase their uptake and their usefulness. Awareness of EPCs is low and most people do not know what they are or why they should take any notice of them. CPI research finds that both relevance and the trustworthiness of EPC increases the more frequently individuals are reminded of its existence[1]. More accessible and up to date data could motivate homeowners to take action and make improvements to their homes.

Increasing the relevance of EPCs

Currently EPCs provide a snapshot in time, which is useful for policy makers but not so useful for consumers. There is an opportunity to expand on the scope of what is collected to increase the usefulness and attractiveness of the EPC itself. A ‘Home Passport’ could be used to inform longer term decision making and engage homeowners by:

  • centrally holding data to enable information to be kept up to date, accessed and updated when improvements are made to a property.;
  • introducing an online tool, which would allow homeowners to access their information and potentially vary inputs for a more personalised set of recommendations. This would allow a more tailored cost saving based on the property’s energy usage, the way it is occupied and the likely length of time the household will remain in the property:
  • highlighting available support via ECO or the RHI and sources of reliable information and guidance materials: and
  • ensuring that the need to future-proof homes is considered as today’s new build homes will become tomorrow’s retrofit.

Summary

In summary, I think there are many ways EPCs can be improved to help consumers understand what measures they can undertake to improve the energy efficiency of their property.  Moving these certificates online and having additional information linked to their results could help tackle a lot of the issues that are currently on going. I have made several recommendations throughout the blog series, but, at the very least, EPCs need to become a more holistic tool that educate homeowners on which areas they need to focus on. I believe using the EPCs as an educational tool will increase the uptake of energy saving measures and, as such, improve the efficiency of our building stock.


[1] https://climatepolicyinitiative.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Effectiveness-of-Energy-Performance-Certificates.pdf

Consultation document:

CALL FOR EVIDENCE: Energy Performance Certificates for Buildings https://beisgovuk.citizenspace.com/home-local-energy/epc-call-for-evidence/

Contacts:

Jonathan Ducker (Head Of Public Affairs, Kingspan Insulation)

Email: jonathan.ducker@kingspan.com

Samantha Crichton (Policy Advisor, Sustainable Energy Association)

Email: Samantha.crichton@sustainableenergyassociation.com

Friday, October 5th, 2018