Energy Performance Certificates and Home Information Packs

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Average four bedroom homes are getting an 'E' energy rating, according to a survey from the introduction of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) and Home Information Packs (HIPs).

New information six weeks after the launch of EPCs and HIPs, shows that average four bedroom homes and above could save hundreds of pounds off heating, lighting, and water bills.

Most homes are receiving an 'E' rating in their EPCs on the A-G scale, but this could potentially rise to a 'C' if consumers undertake measures recommended in the certificates, such as loft and cavity wall insulation.

The Government is today extending EPCs and HIPs to three bedroom homes so more buyers will get the same information to cut carbon emissions and reduce fuel bills.

The early findings come from a snapshot survey of energy assessors and EPCs provided since the launch of HIPs, which show average 4 bedroom homes are being rated 'E' and could typically save £180 on heating, £60 on lighting and £30 on hot water bills, a year.

The top 5 recommendations given by assessors for improving energy efficiency have been: cavity wall insulation, changing to low energy lighting, putting thermostatic valves on radiators, loft insulation, and double glazing.

The introduction HIPs is already starting to reduce costs and improve transparency in the housing market. More than 85 local authorities have reduced their search costs, in some cases by more than £100.

The average pack is taking around 5 days to compile, with major estate agents charging in the region of £300 plus VAT for a HIP, on an upfront or deferred basis - £200 to £250 of which is already paid under the current system.

Communities Minister Iain Wright said: "Families buying four bedroom homes are getting clear information which shows how they can save hundreds of pounds on their fuel bills and cut carbon emissions too. It is important that this should be available for people buying three bedroom homes as well".

Typical 'green grants' of £100 to £300 for energy saving improvement like loft insulation are available to many home owners from energy suppliers as part of their legal obligations introduced by government to improve energy efficiency. Consumers can now access details of green grants and offers by tapping in their postcode on the Energy Saving Trust's website.

Energy suppliers are also providing direct information about grants to home buyers when they sign up to an energy contract.

Notes to Editors

1. EPCs and HIPs were introduced for four bedroom homes and above on August 1, and are today being rolled out to three bedroom homes. A further announcement on rolling out the packs to the rest of the market will be made in due course. Our key criteria will be ensuring a smooth implementation and that the necessary energy assessors, both nationally and regionally, are in place.

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