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Elmhurst issue joint statement with Carbon Laces, following misleading EPC article


A recent article published in The Times highlighted the potential inaccuracies of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), citing new research conducted by Carbon Laces, an innovative startup which is helping to build financial tools for the energy decarbonisation and regeneration of finance.

As always, Elmhurst welcomes all involvement and scrutiny of EPCs and the energy efficiency industry, which is why we met with Carbon Laces to discuss their research.

Both parties agree that the headline in The Times was misleading.

EPCs have a purpose and a place. EPCs are a modelled asset cost profile of a property, while smart meters cover actual energy use. EPCs have grown to cover actual building performance for various applications, like regulatory compliance to lending. Currently, these two outputs are fundamentally different and comparing them is like comparing apples with pears. That is also what the research highlights.

Both Elmhurst and Carbon Laces agree that in order to understand and measure a home’s energy efficiency, we need to help homeowners understand their energy consumption and make good decisions. This starts with baseline EPC (the asset), overlaying this with details of the occupant’s lifestyle, will then refine the predictions of energy use (the occupancy), and then finally using the metered data to check progress against the goals (the meter).

All three pieces of data, i.e. the energy cost, energy use and energy consumption, are required in harmony and using one in isolation only tells part of the story.

One key takeaway is that the large increase in fuel prices has made it challenging for individuals living in the coldest homes with low disposable income to afford heating, resulting in reduced usage of metered energy. As experts in this sector, we continue to push for homes to be as efficient as they possibly can and by employing all three metrics, we can help families to understand what to do to make warmer, cheaper-to-run, lower-carbon homes.

Elmhurst and Carbon Laces will maintain an ongoing dialogue to enable research that can really help us to understand how people use energy in their homes.