John Preston, Convenor of the IHBC’s Green Panel and Heritage Chair, at the STBA has highlighted the need for responses to a recent ‘Call for Evidence on Energy Performance Certificates’ (EPCs), with responses required by 19 October, while comments and copies of responses may be sent to the IHBC’s consultations support resource in the first instance, at email@example.com.
John Preston writes:
On 26 July Government… launched a Call for Evidence on Energy Performance Certificates, with responses required by 19 October.
EPCs are matters of the utmost importance because:
- the Government’s Clean Growth Strategy is underpinned by the extended use of EPCs. The Strategy aims for homes in the private rented sector and all fuel-poor homes to be upgraded to EPC band C by 2030 and an aspiration for as many homes as possible to be upgraded to band C by 2035.
- Since April 2018 residential and commercial landlords are required by law to improve the energy performance of buildings they let to a minimum standard based on EPC ratings.
- The Government’s strategy is severely flawed, because EPCs in their present form do not work for older and traditional buildings which make up at least 25% and up to 35% of the existing building stock. See the STBA’s scoping study, EPCs and the whole-house approach (July 2018) commissioned by Historic England and the National Trust. (Download the Report)
The STBA notes that: ‘The EPC is not a substitute for an energy audit and can only be useful as part of an enhanced homeowners’ report for the individual property. This would include assessment of the building type, condition and risk factors as well as a step-by-step retrofit/refurbishment plan – going into the future.’
Similar concerns among major landlords are highlighted in the Better Buildings Partnership’s Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards and Heritage properties: mitigating risks through the procurement and interpretation of energy performance certificates. (Download the publication)
Despite all the sector’s efforts over the last 7 years, traditional buildings are still barely mentioned, if at all, in Government policy initiatives, while industry and other lobbies are pushing to make the Clean Growth Strategy targets statutory.
That is why this consultation is a vital and unique opportunity for organisations and individuals involved with traditional buildings to raise the issues with Government.
We need as many responses as possible: I urge every reader to take the time to respond, and to spread the word to others (building owners, amenity societies, etc.).