Energy Certificates To Be Used To Tax Homes


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When selling a property in England and Wales its a legal requirement that you need an Energy Performance Certificate. This used to be part of the ill fated Home Information Pack and some vendors see the EPC and a remnant from the Labour led HIP.

It now emerges that that EPC could be used to tax our homes the UK’s only not-for-profit energy company, Ebico, is urging potential house-sellers to make their homes more energy efficient ahead of new EU legislation on Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs). According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the certificates will play a more significant role in the sale and marketing of homes when new legislation comes into force in 2012.

At the moment homeowners are required to commission an EPC before putting a property on the market, and the results may not be available when potential purchasers first view it.

“The move will make EPCs a more formal part of the decision-making process for home buyers. It will make it easier for them to compare ‘like for like’ and could deter them from viewing homes that have poor energy efficiency ratings,” said Martin Russell Croucher, Head of Sustainability at RICS.

Phil Levermore, founder and Managing Director of Ebico, said: “This new EU Directive will effectively put a green, amber or red energy efficiency grading on every ‘For Sale’ board in the UK. The link between the value of a home and its energy efficiency is about to get much clearer – but that’s a ‘must’ if the Government is to realise its ambitious plans of reducing household carbon emissions by 29 per cent by 2020.

“There has never been a better time to make a home more energy efficient. Not only could it make a property more saleable in the future, but people will also reap rewards from lower energy bills and a warmer, more comfortable home in the meantime.”

The Government’s proposed ‘Green Deal’ scheme, to be detailed this autumn, is expected to offer loans of up to £6,500 for home energy efficiency improvements which will be repayable, over twenty years or more, out of savings on fuel bills. RICS and Ebico recommend the following energy efficiency home improvements, some of which can be carried out by homeowners at a relatively low cost.

• Protect hot water pipes with insulating material to reduce the amount of heat that escapes. This will cost about £10 and save approximately £10 per year.

• Insulate the loft with blankets known as ‘quilts’. This is a simple DIY job that costs about £250 and can rake in savings of up to £150 per year

• Seal badly fitting doors and windows with draught proofing strips or draught excluders. This can cost up to £200 and save up to £25 per year.

• Change your boiler to a high efficiency condensing boiler. These convert 86 per cent or more of their fuel into heat, compared to 65 per cent for old G rated boilers. Although the boiler and insulation could cost approximately £2,500 per year. It could reap annual savings of £235 per year.

• Install thermostatic valves on radiators. This will cost about £150 and save about £30 per year.

*The above costs are from the Energy Saving Trust and based on a 3-bedroom semi detached house.

For more energy saving advice, log on to http://www.ebico.co.uk


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