Energy performance certificates fail to boost action

The government should force owners and tenants of buildings that receive poor ratings for their Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to make improvements, the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers said.

A survey by the institute found only 21% of owners or tenants would ask for recommendations made by energy assessors providing the EPCs to be implemented.

Almost 30% of clients commissioned detailed surveys from their assessors. One quarter of clients asked for advice to be costed. Most owners or renters commissioned only a standard EPC. A third of energy assessors felt that most clients were looking for the lowest possible cost for a certificate without other considerations.

John Field, director of energy management consultancy Power Efficiency Ltd, said: "One would hope for a higher percentage eventually, but the emphasis has understandably been on compliance."

There will be a gradual rise in focus on the rating and grade achieved and on ways to improve this, he believes.

The institute believes buildings which receive F or G grades should be required to implement the recommendations made by energy assessors which would have the highest impact on their rating.

Roll-out of EPCs for commercial buildings is now complete. All commercial buildings must have a certificate when sold or rented.

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