Driving consumer demand for properties with superior energy performance

A report from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), commissioned by the Communities and Local Government (CLG) department, highlights actions that must be taken to raise the perceived importance of a property’s energy performance throughout the home buying and selling process.

 

The RICS and CLG Energy Efficiency and Value Report were initiated as part of the UK Government’s Heat and Energy Savings Strategy.

The project makes recommendations for government and industry to consider ways to drive consumer demand for properties with superior energy performance.

These include the need to:

Ensure consumers understand the benefits of and have confidence in the effectiveness and standard of energy efficient home improvements

Improve the energy performance certification (EPC) so that it helps consumers make informed decisions by making information on the property they are considering more understandable and how its performance compares with similar properties.

Segment the market both by type of consumer and by property type to better target government policy and industry action

Engage further with lenders, conveyancers and estate agents to help them educate consumers about the benefits of energy efficient properties

Support greater transparency to ensure relevant energy performance data is captured and analysed by both industry and government

Improve guidance, practice, information and training for all professionals

RICS has also made a pledge to offer new guidance to valuers. The RICS guidance will take the form of a Residential Valuation Information Paper, due for publication early in 2011 and will form part of RICS standards considering energy efficient measures in the valuation process. It will also advise surveyors to consider the construction and future adaptability of the property.

A RICS spokesperson said: “This report places sustainability at the heart of the home buying and selling process. With over a quarter of all carbon emissions coming from homes, these measures to encourage consumer demand for energy efficient properties represent a major step forward in terms of achieving a greener Britain.”

“Other professions and relevant trade bodies will also need to develop similar guidance and information to ensure all players in the residential market play their part in providing accurate and impartial information on energy efficiency.

“Better information will strengthen the market and greatly assist in meeting the challenge to raise consumer demand for energy efficient homes.”