Well that was the year that was!

It’s that time of year, when we all reflect on what has happened and what may occur next year. Last year I indulged myself with 12 wishes for Christmas.

This year I thought I would look back and see what hit the headlines this year in terms of ‘energy efficiency’. The list below is not everything but just some of the many highlights, some good and some bad!

Please have a glance below to see what we all went through:

January 2017

  • NI proposes to link the EPC rating to a rates holiday
  • BEIS issue SAP and RdSAP consultation
  • BEIS help top heat consultation response – removed the EPC from the ECO Policy. Averages of averages of averages!
  • Green Deal Finance Company sold

February 2017

  • White Paper issued with Government aiming to “Fix our broken housing market”
  • Elmhurst launch training partnership with Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE)
  • Report puts new build industry in good health, and that the UK must insulate 25 million homes

March 2017

  • Central Register fees (E&W and NI) reduced
  • More than 16m EPCs and DEC made open data by Government
  • Theresa May signs Article 50

April 2017

  • Scotland consults on MEES for rental market
  • Government statement that all EU energy efficiency laws have been positive for UK and will be enshrined in the Great Repeal Bill

May 2017

  • All political parties release their manifestos for the national election
  • Elmhurst launches new ‘Elmhurst Digital’ Arm
  • Elmhurst respond to two major consultations in Scotland Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP) and The future of energy in Scotland

June 2017

  • Elmhurst acquires the Independent Airtightness Testing Schemes (iATS)
  • Scotland consult on Scottish EPC Register – Elmhurst respond
  • Donald Trump pulls US out of Paris Climate Agreement
  • Elmhurst launch level 5 Non-Domestic Energy Assessor Accreditation
  • Green Deal ‘soft’ launch
  • Scotland Central Lodgement Fees set to rise!
  • Climate Change Committee state that unless Government introduce energy efficiency strategies, peoples bills and carbon emissions will rise

July 2017

  • Lenders Group report (which Elmhurst helped) stated that the mortgage industry should use the EPC data to make better lending decisions
  • Government tell trade body that MEES will 100% come into force next April (2018)

August 2017

  • Happy Birthday EPCs – 10 years old
  • Government announce major ‘Energy Review’ to examine Bills

September 2017

  • Report suggests that Energy Efficiency measures can save UK £7.5bn
  • Report tells Government to link Business Rates to EPCs
  • Elmhurst Assessor's home is awarded Scottish ‘Super Home’ Status
  • Another report tells Government to target all homes to be band ‘C’ by 2035 and low income households by 2030

October 2017

  • Current Energy Minister says that “UK household power bills and lower thanks to the Green Cr*p”
  • Government issues guidance on MEES
  • ‘Clean Growth Strategy’ announced –EPCs at the heart of policy moving forward
  • Consultation frenzy – following Clean Growth Strategy – 6 or 7 released effecting EPCs and energy efficiency

November 2017

  • Elmhurst issues Listed Building Guidance
  • SAP and RdSAP Consultation response published
  • RdSAP updated to v9.93

December 2017

  • Government consider change to home buying process (consultation)
  • Elmhurst suggest Government need to lead the way with DECs for all public buildings to reduce energy bills

It’s hard to believe that we have had a General Election as well as started the process to remove ourselves from the EU.  Looking back it is easy to see that there has been a huge amount of consultations from both Scotland and UK Government. The good news is that EPCs are here to stay and will be used to benchmark energy efficiency for people’s homes and business in the UK. Also good news that other areas of policy are now being explored in terms of regulations for private rented properties as well as green mortgages and many more ideas.

Next year will see the Grenfell Investigation conclude, and with it a new view of the Building Regulations in respect of energy efficiency moving forward. We also see MEES enforced in April 2018. We also look forward to the Each Home Counts delivering a quality framework for energy efficient installations – with its aim to kick off with the new version of ECO in October 2018. We are also extremely hopeful of new Scheme Operating Requirements (SORs) being introduced next year, enabling more fit for purpose rules surrounding auditing (smart audits).

I am sure in 2018 there will some good and bad news next – but clearly we all hope for more of the good stuff. I hope you find the above useful and may I take this opportunity to wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Stuart Fairlie – Technical Director at Elmhurst

Published on 14th December 2017

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