Elmhurst sends clear message to the Committee on Climate Change

The Climate Change Committee has long championed energy efficiency; its role is to analyse and make comment on the wider performance of government on all things related to climate change. It wants to hear from you in regards to energy efficiency in existing homes and has asked some questions for the industry to respond to

Elmhurst has analysed the questions, presented a draft, listened to members’ feedback and published our response.

Stuart Fairlie Technical and Operations director at Elmhurst states: “Some contributors will undoubtedly say we need a totally new approach for existing homes but that is not the case. We already have an internationally respected system that has produced over 20 million assessed properties, science based methodologies for the assessment of buildings and innovative ways to measure actual energy efficiency. What we need now is to bring all the parts together.”

The heart of our message to the committee is:

  • A clear road map with milestones to achieve the Clean Growth Strategy targets
  • Focus on the 98% of homes that are not ‘new build’
  • Raise Awareness – Using existing tools, and self-service tools such as Elmhurst’s Green Check, homeowners should be encouraged to understand their property and the benefits that can be achieved by making low cost improvements.
  • Launch a national home retrofit programme which includes focus on the large and uncharted owner occupied sector, as well as rental and those in fuel poverty.
  • Increase the trigger points for an EPC to ensure that the estimate 14 million homes without one are understood allowing homeowners and policy makers to focus their attention.
  • Guidance and support – Using the established concepts of PAS 2035 provide a government funded Retrofit Plan for very poor performing home to ;
    • To manage what each property needs
    • To agree with the homeowner desired outcomes in an independent manner
    • To predict cost and carbon savings from improvements
    • To ensure quality design and implementation of all measure(s)
  • Incentives – provide financial incentives to homeowners with removal of VAT on all energy efficiency projects, grants and incentives for those most in need. Reward homeowners with the best performing home with stamp duty and council tax reductions.
  • Provide energy efficiency information on both the home and how it is occupied
  • Learn from the food industry when it comes to presenting energy efficiency with its various, sometimes conflicting, metrics – carbon (Co2), cost (£) and energy (kWh).
  • Focus and Invest in the methodologies to make them as close to the truth as possible.
  • Close the loopholes in regulation, such as extended transition periods, that perpetuate the ‘performance gap’
  • Reduce the validity period of Energy Certificates to three years to ensure the information reflects the current condition of the property, the latest innovation in technology and up-to-date pricing information.
  • Assure the quality of energy assessments undertaken for planning and building regulations compliance
  • Design all policy around whole house calculations, assessing the asset, with occupation and condition as part of finding out the right energy efficiency measures for the right people in the right home (PAS2035).

    Stuart Fairlie Technical & Operations Director said “I have stated on many occasions that the strategic intent is set inside the Clean Growth Strategy, but we are lacking clear policy in some areas. In short, build upon the infrastructure and processes. The UK really leads the way in this space. We simply need a joined up long term commitment, not stop start policies that mean a boom and bust industry that becomes tired and frustrated. The pieces of the jigsaw exist, and Elmhurst message is to bring them together to allow people to make informed choices about the energy efficiency of their home.

    Our members have a wealth of knowledge and experience and can certainly help support the committee in pushing for better energy efficient buildings in the UK.”

    The committee is inviting submissions on the Energy Efficiency of Existing Homes. Responders do not have to reply to all questions, and evidence need not be limited to these questions, but they ask that the responses are not more than 3,000 words, and that shorter submissions are welcomed and encouraged.

    Deadline for responses is Monday 13th July 2020

    For further information: https://committees.parliament.uk/work/309/energy-efficiency-of-existing-homes/

    For details of how to respond: https://committees.parliament.uk/call-for-evidence/148/energy-efficiency-of-existing-homes/

    In other news: https://www.elmhurstenergy.co.uk/ccc-2020-progress-report-released-seize-the-opportunity

    Article published: 10/07/2020

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