Is the EPC rating system fit for purpose?
Cora’s Managing Director has backed calls to review the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), after the UK’s independent advisor on climate change described it as ‘not fit for purpose’.
The rating system measures the energy efficiency of homes across the UK, impacting the way new homes are constructed and, from that, how much owners will have to pay to heat them.
Lord Deben, Chair of the government’s Climate Change Committee, has recommended overhauling the rating system and changing its metrics to improve the use of this data.
Luke Simmons, MD of Cora, agrees with Lord Deben, saying the system needs to be reviewed to help tackle climate change and bring energy bills down.
Here, Luke explains his view on the issue.
Lord Deben’s comments
At Cora, we are passionate about the environment and want the housebuilding industry to play a key role in the fight against climate change.
In my opinion, reviewing the EPC rating system would be a big step in the right direction.
In a letter to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), Lord Deben said current EPC metrics do not incentivise housebuilders to build more energy efficiency homes, which will be required to deliver the government’s net-zero strategy.
He suggested EPC ratings need to be reviewed and improved so that actual energy efficiency performance can be compared more easily.
This is something I wholeheartedly agree with – that the current energy performance certificate does not do the job it was designed for as it is too generic and doesn’t give a clear comparison between different buildings.
Improving the ratings system
In my view, only with a standardised and transparent rating system can we ever achieve net-zero and improve the energy efficiency of homes in the UK.
It’s a case of not being able to fix the problem without accurately measuring it.
One of the ways we could tackle the issue is with energy smart metres, which could provide more accurate data on which construction methods are most energy efficient.
At Cora, we have been using more off-site construction to not only improve the energy efficiency of our homes but to also reduce the amount of carbon emitted when building them.
Although it can cost more initially, we have found it benefits both the environment and home owners, and ends up being more cost efficient in the long term.
Better data on energy consumption would help us, and other housebuilders, explore which construction methods produce the most energy efficient homes with the least amount of carbon emitted in their construction.
I would urge the DLUHC to review the EPC ratings to give housebuilders the proper tools to fight climate change and to help reduce energy bills for our customers in the future.
For more on Cora and our commitment to sustainable house building, see www.cora.uk/about-us/sustainability