MPs back legislation to make all homes comply with minimum EPC band C

MPs have backed a proposed Bill that could see all domestic properties bought up to a minimum energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of C by 2035.

Sir David Amess, Conservative MP for Southend West, proposed the Domestic Properties (minimum energy performance) Bill during a Ten Minute Rule Motion yesterday.

Such a move would bring greater requirements than those being introduced for landlords in April when all buy-to-let properties must have a minimum EPC rating of E, and could eventually lead to agents having to police EPCs on homes for sale if it becomes law.

Amess said he wanted to close a loophole on the Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act that he had helped introduce in 2000 to promote energy efficiency measures such as insulation in domestic properties.

He claimed that in 2009 the then Labour Government used wording in the Act that said measures should be “as far as reasonably sensible” to abandon their commitments.

He added that it was “Dickensian” that elderly people were now living in just the one room that they could afford to heat.

Instead, he said, all those living in fuel poverty – defined as households paying above the average energy costs who would be pushed below the poverty line by paying their bills – should have support to bring their homes to an EPC rating of C by 2030.

All homes, except where it is prohibitively expensive such as in stately manors, should also be helped to reach this target by 2035, he said.

Amess said the energy sector should be encouraged by Government to come up with innovative solutions to support this. It isn’t clear if there would be any penalties for non-compliance by households.

MPs backed the motion unanimously and it will have a second reading on March 16.

 

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17 Comments

  1. David Cantell

    So be it, we will have no character houses left, a period home with lighting and windows that simply do not fit with the property. Green gone mad, what happened to consumer choice? Government please consult industry before making knee jerk proposals that do no more than trump those of your predecessors !

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    1. Bless You

      So how do you sell a house that needs work now? Mps have clearly lost the plot in this populist state.

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  2. AgentV

    Can older homes with solid walls be brought up to a C without internal or external wall insulation?

    Does anyone know?

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    1. PeeBee

      EVEN THEN, many will struggle – and I am certain that a fair proportion could never hit the required mark regardless of the work undertaken.

      That’s without even thinking of those Listed buildings where such work would not be permissible…

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    2. revilo

      My old stone house has as much insulation as can be crammed in, lovely quality double glazing throughout, a good enough boiler, TRV’s, 4kw solar panel system, you name it, it’s got it…

      Outside it’s beautiful banded stone walls, inside beams in the walls, window seats etc.. Impossible to insulate the solid walls further..

      It’s just a C but that’s the PV’s

      With many new homes coming out as a ‘B’ this is totally unrealistic.

       

       

       

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    3. teledemon91

      If your property is solid masonry with lath and plaster, one option is to inject a breathable foam to the heat loss perimeter walls from the inside. This will increase the u-value and in many cases achieve the required rating on the EPC. However in real terms the thermal performance will be dramatically improved where the real issue is convective heat loss in this type of construction. Unfortunately the methodology behind the EPC calcs struggles to reflect this.

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  3. CountryLass

    And what about those of us who qualify for no government help at all, but still do not have the funds available to get all this work done? My house is currently a low D, and I don’t have the recommended £20-40k lying around to get it up to a high C, just to save £724 a year on bills.

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  4. AgencyInsider

    Typical Ten Minute Rule Bill. Appealing to a populist agenda and with very little thought as to practicality, implementation, and the laws of unintended consequences.

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    1. jeanrouge64

      Absolutely – as if the dears haven’t enough on their plates with Brexit and the idiotic infighting amount their seniors…

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  5. Richard Copus

    Listed buildings are bound to be exempt from these regs and probably those in Conservation Areas (with or without Article 4s) where external alterations would adversely affect the Area.  Still, that’s only around 1% of the housing stock.  At the end of the day, upvc double glazing (although many of us love to hate it) has improved dramatically over the last few years to the extent that you have to go up to a window sometimes and touch it to check that it is not wood framed.

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  6. Peter

    Live in an area where LPG is one’s source of warmth and “C” is impossible.

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  7. jeremy1960

    Perhaps there should be a system whereby all MPs had to try a bill out before even considering implementing it? Would be interested to see how they got on with this one on their period properties, GDPR, not driving diesel cars ……

    Completely ludicrous and a complete waste of resources, there will be hours of debate, committee meetings, a draft bill and then a final bill which will be totally unworkable!

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  8. NickTurner

    As always knee jerk reactions from MP’s who have little concept of buildings and the ‘problems in bringing those low rated properties up to a C band. Theory is fine but the ability to do it are not. How many EPC’s do we see that state to improve the existing EPC rating install underfloor insulation!

    One positive way forward would be for the building regulations to require PV panels on all new build homes; the price of these panels would come down and hey presto! But common sense in MP’s is , err, lacking. Also expanding on  Richard Copus above  why not allow double glazing in listed buildings and conservation areas as many designs now are suitable and you really have to look hard. I feel a Specsave ad  materialising!

    Jeremy 1960 above makes the very good point about MP’s trying out bills before they suggest them. Perhaps they ought to put their bill where their brain is.

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  9. Woodentop

    Stupid. I do EPC’s and can confirm that that is near impossible to achieve in the main on properties built up to  the present day. The cost is extortionate to upgrade existing and many old properties cannot be upgraded that high in any event. It would require change in building regulations for new builds only and cost currently prohibitive to most builders hopping to pass on to the buyer, unless we all start living in flats. The cost for homebuyers that could upgrade would be in the £thousands, not affordable to most and not recoverable in energy saving costs, which is why they are a recommendation on the EPC.

     

    Have always thought that it would be a good idea, when the technology allows for roofs to have tiles/slates replaced with solar tiles, not the stick on top uggly things they do now. You can’t get under them for repairs.

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  10. ArthurHouse02

    This in the future is going to be comparable to leasehold properties with short leases. Properties that have D or below rated EPC needing thousands spending to improve the rating will become either unsellable or the value will be dramatically reduced crippling the owners financially. This will encourage people not to sell their homes and further decrease the supply issues the housing market faces currently.

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  11. Settle Down

    Its not as though EPC’s are even done on a scientific basis, just a set of broad assumption based on the age and type of property.

    If internal wall insulation can’t be seen its not counted……… what an absolute farce. I work in the Yorkshire Dales and The Ribble Valley and this dumb idea should remove most of the housing stock in one swipe.

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  12. The_Maluka

    I love it.  Just another example of a government determined to make the accommodation situation worse in the middle of a housing crisis.

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