Wednesday, 13 July 2011

New-look EPCs to be launched next April

EPCs will be reformed and households will be given a month’s holiday from council tax return for signing up to the Green Deal.

The latter is part of an incentive trial, which is being run with Homebase, which also offers vouchers for Homebase and Argos.

Other offers being trialled offer energy efficiency products at a discount if households club together to buy them, or community rewards.

The trials are launched in a new report from the Cabinet Office’s ‘behavioural insights team’, which also says how it will ‘refresh’ EPCs.

The report says it needs to reform EPCs because currently only 18% of house buyers report that they took any notice of them in deciding on their purchase, while only 17% act on the recommendations.

From next April, EPCs will have a different front page, which will signpost the Green Deal by showing which measures are available for grant-aid under the scheme,  and detail cost savings over three years, and not just environmental consequences.

It will show the current costs of lighting, heating and hot water, and the potential costs of all three, giving the total cost-saving over three years.

In addition, the front page will list the top three recommendations, with the suggestion that payback times may also be included.

Further research on EPCs will be conducted by the behavioural insights team and Homebase.

Other ideas include setting up a network of Green Deal champions, and forthcoming work with Which? to examine what advice householders find most useful.

You can see the new-look EPCs in the report:
The 'refresh' of EPCs is not the only change mooted. CLG also wants estate agents and letting agents put an EPC report on all their marketing particulars, possibly from as early as this October, meaning extra costs of print and paper.  Have you taken part in the all-important SPLINTA survey yet? It's essential that if you have views, you make them plain now. Please refer back to previous story SPLINTA gets ready to fire up new campaign on EPCs

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