EU Referendum- how does it affect us?
You will all be aware that the Government has declared that we will be having a referendum on the 23rd June 2016; that will decide whether the UK retains its membership of the EU. Knowing that Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are a requirement that comes from a European Directive, some energy assessors have already called to ask what that means to them and the future of EPCs.
Of course no one can predict the future, and there is certainly a lot of political activity to keep us all ‘entertained’ over the next four months, but the outcome of the referendum is not a given, and most polls are suggesting that there is a solid lead for those that want us to remain in the EU.
However if the referendum decides that we are to leave it is important to note that;
1. The referendum result is just the start of the process and it will take many years to disentangle legislation that the politicians want to keep, from that they consider an imposition from Europe. A good example is that the Building Regulations/Standards require an EPC, to ensure that the property satisfies the Regulations/Standards. Most observers want to keep industry standards and so the EPC helps this process.
2. Energy rating is not an invention of Europe and has been used to assess UK building stock for many years, and will continue with or without Europe. The Standard Assessment Procedure and the reduced version were invented in the UK for UK buildings and climate conditions.
3. Many commitments that the Government make have nothing to do with Europe, for example we recently signed up to reduce our carbon emissions by signing up to a UN climate change commitment. The Government will still need policies and tools to enable the country to use less energy and save people money.
4. Consumers now expect information on everything they buy and houses are no different. That demand will remain. If you buy a fridge or car and see an energy rating, why would consumers not want to know the same for the single biggest investment in their lives, their property?
Whatever the outcome of the referendum, or the decisions that follow, you can be sure that Elmhurst Energy will be lobbying the decision makers to ensure the good work Elmhurst Members do, is understood, and that the value of EPCs is fully appreciated. We will also commit to ensuring that you are kept up to date with the EU referendum, as it develops.