Our Existing Homes are Getting Worse!

DCLG have recently announced further startling statistics relating to lodgement of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) to the national register for England and Wales. The data covers domestic (existing and new build), non domestic buildings (existing and new build) and Display Energy Certificates used in certain sized buildings visited by the public.

Elmhurst analysed the quarterly statistics for Q2 (April to June 2015) and published our findings, and the same worrying trends are continuing.

Overall Volumes are down

For Q3 (July to Sept) 2015, the volume of all EPCs lodged, covering all buildings types, is 21% down  on the same quarter in 2014. This is extremely disappointing and cause for concern within the industry. For domestic buildings, which is the largest volume of EPCs, the decrease is 22%. Elmhurst believe the significant reduction overall is still due in combination to ECO2 not starting in earnest yet (which requires RdSAP EPCs to be lodged) and also non compliance issues. Whilst the volume reduction is not surprising to most in the industry there are now some equally worrying trends that are clearly highlighted in the DCLG report.

Existing Dwellings continue to get worse (using more energy)

The statistics prove that the average energy use per m2 in domestic existing properties is actually rising in this quarter compared to last year. The average home used an average of 251 (kWH/m2 p/a) in Q3 2014 and is now using 271 (kWH/m2 p/a) in Q3 2015. This continues the trend Elmhurst first highlighted in Q2 statistics. This information is occurring simultaneously as the Government is removing or reviewing all current policies for energy efficiency. The message from Government only last week was to save energy the public need to switch suppliers; this data statistically highlights that this is not a serious strategy to reduce the energy demand and use in peoples properties.

In other indicators, there are 11% of domestic properties that reach an energy efficiency rating (SAP rating) of A or B, 65% C or D and still 23% of England and Wales properties are languishing with ratings of E,F or G (the lowest).

The one good news story is with New Build domestic properties which experienced a 26% increase in EPCs lodged; a positive indicator for the house building industry returning to work. A slight issue is that the energy use is on average increasing in new build properties, however to counter this the Carbon emissions are reducing. As expected due to Part L of the Building Regulations;  76% of new dwellings achieve an A or B energy efficiency rating (SAP rating), 22% score C or D, and only 2% achieve E, F or G.

In non domestic buildings the lodgements have decreased by 7% from last year – this is significant and must be in some way linked to lack of compliance and enforcement.

There are lots more facts and figures which Elmhurst will analyse. The numbers above are not great news stories for our industry. However it is essential that we all move forward to ensure that energy efficiency is kept at the forefront of political discussions. Elmhurst will continue to work hard on behalf of our members querying recent Government announcements on Zero Carbon Standards, removing of funding for the Green Deal Finance Company and other reviews of energy efficiency standards and policies.

Stuart Fairlie – Head of Technical – Elmhurst Energy

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