Online House Hunter: Be read and green
IF you’re a potential buyer, then you’ll get to see an Energy Performance Certificate for the building. Even if you’re renting a property (rather than just a room) you’ll get to see one.
A report by Consumer Focus shows these reports are overwhelmingly ignored which is a pity as they do contain much useful data. So what are they and how can they help you?
EPCs tell you two things:
- Information on the home’s energy use and carbon dioxide emissions
- What the home-owner can do to reduce energy use and CO2 emissions
Ratings are from A to G (Good to Bad) with the current average being D and since all homes are judged by the same standards, you can compare one with another. Just be aware that the Grade II listed building in a conservation area may be less energy efficient as it’s not allowed to put in double glazing!
You can see what an EPC looks like on the government’s communities website. it includes reports on walls, roof, floors and windows as well as taking a look at how the house is heated, its hot water system and the lighting.
In itself an EPS is unlikely to put you off buying your halcyon home in Hampstead or perfect pad in Plumstead but it will at least make you aware of what work you’ll need to do to the house to make it more energy efficent – whether that’s because you want to save money or save the planet.
I suspect most homebuyers ignore the report because they file it away to revisit once they’ve settled in and start major works on their home. If you’re like me, by then you have lost you EPC. I’m afraid it’s not particularly easy to get a replacement. Start here and wade through the red tape and security issues.
However, you’ll find plenty of advice on the web on how to make your new home more energy efficient and I’ll include a couple of links below.
- Online Property Search
- DirectGov’s introduction to Energy Performance Certificates
- Find a Domestic Energy Assessor at Landmark
- The Energy Saving Trust
- Act On C02
- Carbon Calculator
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