Watts, C., Jentsch, M.F. and James, P.A.B.
Evaluation of domestic Energy Performance Certificates in use
Building Services Engineering Research and Technology, 32, (4), . (doi:10.1177/0143624411404486).
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Since October 2008, Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) have been a mandatory requirement for all dwellings sold or rented in England and Wales. Having now been in place for some time, it is of interest to assess the scheme’s impact and effectiveness. This paper presents the results of a questionnaire survey, targeted at almost 2000 homeowners in Southampton on the South coast of England, who bought their home within the first year of the scheme’s introduction. The survey had a response rate of 17% and established homeowner awareness of EPCs, but highlighted that they had little impact on decision-making or price negotiation. Where retrofitting measures have been undertaken, results are inconclusive as to whether retrofitting was done as a result of EPCs. Energy efficiency was not found to be a priority for homebuyers.
Practical applications: The survey presented in this paper highlights that further refinement of EPCs and the certification process appear to be needed, in order for the scheme to become a widespread success in the domestic sector. Whilst there is an awareness of the scheme in general, there appears to be limited recognition of its potential. This poses a challenge for the building industry and certification bodies, which need to seek ways to better communicate the benefits of the scheme, in order to instigate the refurbishment works that are required to meet the national carbon emissions reduction targets in the UK.
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