The Citizen’s Advice Bureau believes the Call for Evidence comes at a key time, with the role of EPCs expanding, especially in the rental sector.
It feels that the energy rating system needs to be improved, with EPC scores sometimes unreliable and data from the EPC assessment process not routinely shared with consumers.
It believes several of the suggested improvements made in the consultation are particularly important, such as:
- giving consumers access to the data used to create their EPCs
- research into the reliability of EPCs
- using the EPC to inform the measures needed to help the Government meet its climate change goals
- and requiring Houses of Multiple Occupancy to have EPCs when part of a home is rented.
"Although consumer awareness of EPCs is high, so far there is limited evidence that they are driving consumers to install energy efficiency measures," it says. "EPCs could be part of an effective framework to deliver consumer action on energy efficiency."
The UK Green Building Council also views the call for evidence on EPCs for Buildings as a good thing.
"We very much welcome this Call for Evidence and the ambitious and wide-ranging suggestions it contains for making EPCs more reliable and accurate and better equipped to drive energy efficiency action on the part of building owners," says Jenny Holland, Public Affairs & Policy specialist at the UKGBC.
"This is as all the more important as EPC ratings already underpin existing Government policies such as the Private Rented Sector Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard – and they sit at the heart of the aspiration in the Government’s Clean Growth Strategy for all homes to be EPC Band C by 2035.
Holland says giving building owners access to the data used to create EPC ratings could help them boost the energy efficiency of their homes.
"We strongly endorse the suggestion that building owners be given access to all the data that underpin the EPC rating," she adds, "and that this information is able to be shared with relevant third parties like assessors and installers. This would help make repeat assessments quicker, cheaper, and more reliable.
"It would also be likely to encourage energy efficiency improvements by the building owner, as advice on suitable improvements could be made more tailored and less costly."