A Parliamentary petition has been launched in the UK to scrap energy performance certificates for residential properties now that the country has decided to leave the European Union.
The certificates, known as EPCs, were introduced in 2007 after the Housing Act 2004 made it a mandatory requirement that an energy assessment is made on all properties listed for sale in Britain and later this applied to rental properties too.
This was done to comply with a European Directive and EPCs were seen as bureaucratic consequence of being a member of the European Union which means all countries had to introduce the certificates.
This means that every home that is put on sale or for let needs to be inspected and a certificate issued before it can be advertised. It is estimated this amounts to an annual cost of £100 million to sellers and landlords.
It is widely regarded that the resulting energy rating that the certificate assesses is of little help to either buyer or seller and has not proven to reduce energy consumption in any attempt to assist in mitigating the effects on the environment, as was the intention when first conceived by the European Commission.
Now, Russell Quirk, chief executive officer of hybrid estate agent eMoov, has launched a Parliamentary petition to bring about the scrapping of EPCs which he believes will streamline the home moving process and save the country millions of pounds.
‘This petition will be the first shot to be fired by the property industry in achieving swift benefit from the EU exit,’ he said, pointing out that if 100,000 signatures are achieved this would mean that Parliament has to debate the issue.
Quirk has also contacted the Housing Minister Brandon Lewis MP to ask for his support. Since inception, it is estimated that over 16 million EPCs have been produced and at a consumer cost of over £800 million.
‘I have launched this national petition in order to get rid of EPCs and the unnecessary cost to the consumer of paying for them. When introduced as part of the failed Home Information Pack in 2007 they were widely criticised as pointless and wasteful by the property industry,’ said Quirk.
‘Thousands of inspectors have had to be trained and then re-trained under adapted legislation, forced upon us by an EU directive that, now that we have voted for Brexit, can be unwound. EPCs are of no benefit to anyone and have created a bureaucratic burden on home sellers, landlords and estate agents,’ he added.