Experts claim EPCs need more consistency to be as effective as possible

The quality of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) needs to be more consistent in order to effectively improve the way buildings consume energy, industry experts have claimed.

Furthermore, the leading figures have argued that energy assessors need to be empowered to provide advice to building owners on how to implement changes that EPCs recommend.

Speaking at the Elmhurst Energy Conference in Leicester, Stuart Fairlie, Technical Director of Elmhurst Energy, states that one of the issues around the accuracy of EPCs is that some stakeholders do not realize the difference between an asset and an operational assessment.

“The difference between asset and operation needs to be clearly defined and allow assessors to provide both. This will mean energy certificates can be for the building, using standard assumptions, and can be for the occupants, using real lifestyle information,” he said.

“If we get these correct, these misunderstandings can be cleared up, giving the expectations back to the stakeholder.”

The governments Clean Growth Strategy, which was also discussed at the conference, has been highlighted as a positive step towards lower carbon emissions in buildings. Nevertheless, Martyn Reed, Managing Director of Elmhurst Energy, asserts that in order to make an energy efficient society a reality, the government needs to consider a number of factors when making policy decisions relating to carbon reduction.

“Reducing carbon emissions should not be considered in isolation. This country also needs to reduce fuel poverty, to improve air quality and to secure fuel supply,” he said.

“Some recent policies actually achieve on one at the expense of another, for example ECO moving from using EPCs to deemed scores. When the issues are considered holistically we believe it is possible to win on all fronts.”

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