Cold homes kill more people than road accidents, alcohol or drugs

Energy Performance Certificates were featured widely at a cross party meeting of back bench MPs held last Thursday (9th March). The debate covered 'Energy Efficiency and the Clean Growth Strategy' with EPCs seen as part of the solution to climate change and fuel poverty.

Elmhurst has sifted through the debate and has presented below the most salient points that were presented by MPs including a point made by MP Steve McCabe which reinforced the importance of stamping out colder/energy inefficient homes. 

Antoinette Sandbach Conservative MP for the Eddisbury constituency made the following points:

  • "Bringing every household up to an EPC band C by 2035 would save 25% of the energy used by the UK, which is the equivalent of six nuclear power stations the size of Hinkley Point C."

  • "In 2014 51% of fuel-poor households were owner-occupiers, with only 33% in the private rented sector. Were the EPC rating of a house to be included in a lender’s affordability calculation, people could borrow up to £4,000 more in many cases. Under such a system, an EPC A rating would allow people to borrow £11,500 more than an EPC G-rated house".

  • "The energy efficiency measures that had been introduced in a property would have a market value, and that would be taken into account in the ability to resell—particularly the increased borrowing capability. Furthermore, it would give real value when looking at the EPC rating for the future". 

James Heappey Conservative MP for the Wells Constituency added: 

  • "We need to look at how we do EPCs and the standards we set for new homes. In hindsight, I think we on the Government side made a mistake in reducing the carbon standards for new built homes. However, even if we leave the standards as they are for the moment, please let us ensure that developers are building houses at the EPC level they say they are".

  • "Instead of EPCs simply being a mechanism for judging how efficient a property is in terms of its barrier technologies, or how well insulated the walls, windows, doors and roofs are, I wonder whether the Government might also consider how we might start to value the clean tech that might also have been put into the home".

Steve McCabe Labour MP for the Birmingham, Selly Oak constituency added:  

  • "Members and I are pleased to see the Government reaffirm their support for the EPC band C target for fuel-poor homes, and indeed their proposals to extend that to all rented homes".

  • "We would all be helped immensely if the Minister put a little more meat on the bones. Is there an implementation plan to ensure that the band C target for all homes by 2035 will actually be achieved? What particular steps will the Minister take to achieve the band C target for social housing and private rented homes?... I would also like to know what is to be done to incentivise able-to-pay homeowners to make the necessary energy efficiency improvements to their homes; other Members have mentioned that issue".
  • "The private rented sector has some of the worst properties for energy efficiency in the UK. Despite targets being introduced seven years ago to bring all rented properties up to EPC band E by 2020, 6% of private rented homes are estimated still to be in bands F ‚Äčor G. That equates to about 280,000 residences, which are often occupied by the poorest families—people who are forced into choosing between eating and heating".
  • Mr McCabe closed his contribution by reminding colleagues that "cold homes were found to be a bigger killer across the UK in 2015 than road accidents, alcohol or drugs."

Click to read the full Hansard report

Article Published: 12th March 2018

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