Almost two-thirds (62%) of residential property professionals don’t believe that Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are the most suitable method to help reduce carbon emissions in our homes.
That is according to a webinar poll conducted by Countrywide Surveying Services (CSS), a supplier of valuation panel management services.
The research revealed that although the majority of respondents don’t believe in the method of EPCs, 38% still consider them to currently be the most suitable measure.
The responses emerged at CSS’ regular webinar series with this particular session focusing on a panel discussion centred around EPCs, recent government updates and insights into property values.
Over 400 people actively engaged in the session with the audience consisting of lenders, brokers, surveyors and other property professionals.
The panel included representatives from major lenders in addition to Ben Elder – international head of valuation at the RICS, Paul Broadhead – head of mortgage & housing at the BSA and Andrew Parkin – managing director and Stuart Oakes – sales manager at Stroma Certification.
The esteemed guests joined Ana Bajri, head of sustainability at Countrywide Surveying Services and John Baguley, director of risk, technical & compliance at Countrywide Surveying Services, who hosted the session.
Further polls were taken during the webinar around EPC ratings and energy efficiency.
In response to the question: ‘Does the sector require urgent upskilling in this area?’ a vast majority (92%) thought this to be the case, with 8% suggesting that the sector was sufficiently skilled.
When asked the question: ‘Do you consider EPCs to be reliable?’ 57% said sometimes, 21% responded rarely, 20% answered usually and 2% reacted by saying never.
Interestingly, in a separate question, almost three-quarters of respondents (73%) thought that EPCs are hardly ever reflected in sales prices, 18% implied they are never reflected in sales prices, 8% countered that they are regularly reflected in sales prices but not one respondent was of the opinion that they were always reflected in sale prices.
Lastly, on the topic of consumers understanding EPCs, 80% suggested that consumers partially understand them, 12% pointed out that they did not understand them at all while 8% implied that they had complete understanding.
Ana Bajri of CSS comments: “As the regulatory landscape shifts, we are seeing a variety of lenders take greater consideration around how they approach energy efficiency and EPCs from a product and risk perspective. In addition, the EPC is currently undergoing improvements via the Government’s EPC action plan.”
“How this is reflected in the context of valuations will prove a key focal point for our industry moving forward and this data really does help outline how a range of property professionals view the performance, reliability, the relationship to sales prices and consumer understanding of EPCs.”
She concludes: “Every year is an important one for the environment but, when it comes to gaining a better understanding of the impact of new and existing housing stock, 2022 is a pivotal year for the sector. And is one in which we need to see a real progression in order to make any significant impact on the industry’s carbon footprint and environmental impact.”