Scottish Government issue consultation on the Scottish EPC Register

Inside the consultation there is disappointing news that the statutory lodgement fees for lodging data onto the Scottish Register are proposed to rise by 126%!

Scottish Government indicate:

That they want the Register to be self funding and;  

“Fees would only be paid by those lodging EPCs onto the database. The introduction of a lodgement fee means that only these users will contribute towards the future development and maintenance costs. It is considered that this approach is equitable. If funding were to be provided centrally by Government, the result would be that the public purse (and in effect everyone) would bear the burden”.

The proposed fee Increase breakdown:

      Certificate Type      Current Charge     Proposed Charge     Difference    % Increase  
Dwellings £1.15 £2.60 +£1.45 126%
Non Dwellings  £5.35 £12.10 +£6.74 126%

Elmhurst wishes to express its surprise and concern at this proposed increase and will respond appropriately on this matter. Not only are the increases to fees excessive, but we do not believe these rate changes are in line with any normal inflationary increases.

Ultimately Scottish Government know that Energy Assessors have only one national Register in which to lodge i.e. a monopoly, and therefore have no alternative. We at Elmhurst are extremely disappointed to hear this proposed fee scales.

Running the Register (Cost vs Revenue)

The consultation highlights that the revenues received in income for the ‘not for profit’ register do not meet the costs. Inside the consultation, the Government display the following table, which indicates that the operation of the register has been losing money for past 3 years:

Elmhurst will respond

On behalf of all our members and other energy assessors in the industry, we at Elmhurst will continue to express our views to Scottish Government on this proposed price hike. We strongly encourage energy assessors to respond to this important consultation. We will also make our more detailed views and opinions available to our members next week, to aid industry responses.

We welcome any feedback and have created a form for which you can send your consultation response feedback or suggestions to us (click here for feedback/suggestion form).

In order to continue to be open, honest and vitally independent; we will post a considered response next week and also our full and final response before the deadline (19th June 2017).

Conclusion

We are backing our members and suggest that the proposed fee increase is not one that we welcome as an Industry. We welcome that the new wave of polices throughout Scotland which look to build upon the framework and benchmarking of EPCs; we want to encourage home and business owners to become more energy efficient, living and working in more comfortable homes and business premises; but we feel that the total cost of a national register can’t be lumped solely on energy assessors. The national and regional benefits of the data and the register are not being fairly counted for and we ask that the burden be looked at by parties that use the data, and where possible efficiency savings are made in the register provision.

Stuart Fairlie – Technical Director at Elmhurst Energy adds; “Elmhurst are currently digesting the information provided in the Consultation. We would encourage our members to respond to the consultation, and we will be keeping everyone informed of our expert thoughts over the next couple of weeks, as well and making available our considered response in an open and professional manner.”


Full Consultation:

https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/local-government-and-communities/scottish-energy-performance-certificate-register/

Deadline for Responses: Monday 19th June 2017

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