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Beefed Up EPCs demanded by energy efficiency experts

The Building Research Establishment - which undertakes research, advice, training, testing, certification and standards-setting for the housing sector - is calling for a major rethink of Energy Performance Certificates.

A new BRE report - Energy Performance Certificates: Enabling the Home Energy Transition - has been published, just as the government is consulting on a new Home Energy Model to replace the Standard Assessment Procedure, currently used to assess and compare energy ratings of residential property.

BRE says EPCs have become central to the way we demonstrate and discuss the energy efficiency of our homes, yet now have a much wider application than when they were first introduced. 


They are used in delivering retrofit programmes, regulations, and financing, and with the uptake of low carbon heating technologies such as heat pumps set to increase over the next decade, BRE claims the EPC system will need to evolve.

BRE’s report presents ideas for EPCs to develop and for the processes behind them to become better suited to net zero targets. 

Proposals include:

- EPC lifespans to be reduced from 10 years to five “to provide more up to date advice and information for homeowners”;

- New criteria to determine an EPC rating, which currently is based on the cost to heat and light a home;

- More detailed data used during the EPC rating process to be used to plan retrofitting of energy efficient measures; 

- Strengthened training for Domestic Energy Assessors to “build trust and confidence in the system“ and ensure assessors drive the net zero transition of  housing stock;

- Developing a provisional EPC rating for the 40 per cent of housing stock currently without any formal EPC rating; 

- Encouraging more people to used EPC certificate advice to improve their homes - just five per cent did so in 2022, BRE says.

“Energy Performance Certificates cover 60 per cent of UK homes and are a key source of information used in planning retrofit programmes and in government policies. But too often home buyers and sellers see the certificates as just a bureaucratic necessity” claims Gillian Charlesworth, chief executive of the Building Research Establishment.

“With targeted reforms, the government can ensure the EPC can really achieve its potential, as a trusted starting point for advice and information on how we can all make our homes better.

“The transition to clean energy in homes is starting to gather pace; the last few months have seen an upsurge in interest in installing heat pumps. Whether it’s clean heat, upgrading insulation, solar panels or other modern energy technologies, reforms to the EPC to make it more up-to-date, accurate and usable will be key to supporting homeowners play their part in the journey to net zero.

“We urge policymakers to read this report and consider its recommendations as a way of driving the decarbonisation of the UK’s domestic building stock.”

BRE’s new report can be found here.

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  • icon

    A load more trouble then. And now we need a new EPC every 5 years. Next it will be yearly.

    Heat pumps are rubbish too.

    Anyway over to you Gibbons. Play it again Sam.

  • icon

    Gibbo…. Where are you 👀🤷‍♂️😂


    Give him time, he is still trying to get his heat pump working

  • Ian Deaugustine

    I want to laugh; BRE says: "EPC lifespans to be reduced from 10 years to five "to provide homeowners with more up-to-date advice and information".

    The only reason why they dream they could implement this is so that they steal more money out of landlords' pockets.

    Full stop.

  • icon

    We are hardly going to save the Planet, our little bit is no match for the F-15’s or Typhoons.

    Ian Deaugustine

    Precisely, thank you. The only reason why they dream they could implement this is so that they steal more money out of landlords' pockets

  • icon

    Is Gibbo still in bed? 😂😂😂

  • Ian Deaugustine

    Precisely, thank you. The only reason why they dream they could implement this is so that they steal more money out of landlords' pockets

  • John Wathen

    I detect an unsavory whiff of vested interests deviously disguised as ‘saving the planet’, and what will the result be? Surprise surprise, even higher rents!

  • Peter Why Do I Bother

    Caught the news yesterday and the presenter was talking about heat pumps, he was explaining that he was quoted 7k to have it fitted and the savings he would make per year equated to 80quid...!

    His reasoning was why would I go green for 80quid, my good lady said that is ridiculous why would anyone do that. First person I thought of was the balloon who comes on here shooting his Nuaire3000 off.

  • icon

    Take up the advice given in an EPC. When they recomment a spend of £30+k on upgrades to save just over £100 per year on enrgy costs? No thanks.

  • icon

    I think a good starting point would be to give the system some credibility a flat I rented a few years ago could hardly scrape a G rating let alone an F then suddenly after being put up for sale without any work being done lo and behold it became grade C on the website of a very well known London agent who also have their own EPC company I am sure there is absolutely no connection…

    Ian Deaugustine

    I can confirm i had a similar experience (corruption......)

  • icon

    Corruption is rampant throughout the system, particularly with small contractors being fleeced for 20% of their already small margins by greedy managing agents.



    Letting agents can take up to 20% of our gross rentals which can often be more than our net margins before their fees.


    If your agents, probably corporate, are changing you 20%, change your agent.



    They're not! I was making the point that if it were 20% it wasn't 20% of the margin but 20% of the gross rental income.

    My family ad I have negotiated a very good deal in Glasgow - but don't want to blab in case others want it too!

  • icon

    Instead of coming up with stealth tax which this really is and jobs for the boys. Why do you not deal with the real issues in energy.

  • Ian Deaugustine

    Not only do letting agents take up to 20% of our gross rental, but they are also quite useless when a problem arises; they only care about extracting their fat commission from our earnings. Parasites, that is what they are.


    This is my experience. Quick to charge. Sit back and do nothing. Any problems we can send an 'aaproved contractor' who between each other will produce a big invoice. Better off without them.


    One of the problems is that agents tend to employ young and inexperienced (In other words cheap) staff and then don't train them, I started my own Inventory business 24 years ago and standards are worse today than then, I was amazed recently to be told that in a fully managed property, the Landlord was charged £30 to book me for a check in, how on earth can that be right, agents wonder why they are so disliked, well try not ripping people off would be a good starting point...

  • icon

    This shows politicians and busy bodies feel they are doing something bu verbally dictating but practicality is something they do not try to understand. Money is not coming out of their purses. They need to be relevant for their salaries and huge expenses. Shame on the lot of them.

  • icon

    Unfortunately the problem with EPC and any enhanced version is it’s about marginal gains for incredible expense. I’ve often seen suggestions that would involve a spend of over £20k for a tiny reduction in energy consumption and the carbon footprint of installing the new tech is always ignored in the calculation otherwise it would take years to effectively reduce the carbon footprint.

    As soon as I see them bragging about the uptake of heat pumps, I’m convinced they’re just another propagandist, pushing the latest defective tech. Heat pumps are not the future, most installers will tell you they are full of all manner of problems and are not appropriate for most properties.

    Most green solutions I have seen are not particularly green, nor are they particularly effective, and usually very expensive (and tax payer funded doesn’t make it free!) If they were true improvements they would not need to employ a host of regressive measure to force compliance - we would happily just buy the better cleaner system and the older ones would be phased out naturally.


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