Tuesday 3rd April 2012
The Government has launched its new-look Energy Performance Certificate and announced that the EPC central register will be open to public inspection for the first time.
The moves were announced by CLG minister Andrew Stunell under the guise of eco-friendliness.
Notably, however, he did not tell the public that the addresses of their homes would be publicly available on the register, whether they wanted it or not. There are concerns that the register could easily be used by squatters to identify empty rental properties, with EPCs often being carried out during void periods.
Instead, Stunnell concentrated on his message that the package of measures would make energy information on properties easier to understand, which if followed could help customers save money on their fuel bills.
He also emphasised that Domestic Energy Assessors will have undergone further training to ensure that the new-look EPCs – to be used from April 6 onwards – are produced to a consistently high standard and assured advice is given to prospective home owners.
He said that prospective buyers and tenants will also be given this energy information early on, to give them time to plan how they will implement some of the recommendations included.
They will also be able to compare the energy performance of their home with that of similar properties, as the National Energy Performance Certificate Register is opened up to public use for the first time.
He said that to ensure the data is as secure as possible, companies wanting to use the Register will be required to sign a licensing agreement which will include strict rules over how the data is used.
Stunell said: “The Energy Performance Certificate has proved useful in putting the efficiency of our homes at the forefront of our minds, but home owners can often struggle to know how to act on the advice it gives.
“That’s why we’re giving it a complete redesign, making it clearer and easier to understand and putting the recommendations for improvements into matters of pounds and pence by showing how much consumers could potentially save on their energy bills.
“And by making the national register of Energy Performance Certificates open to the public, each home owner will for the first time be able to see how their property compares with others, and where changes could be made so their homes become as eco-friendly as possible.”
(with thanks to Letting Agent Today)