Author Topic: Energy Performance Certificates  (Read 2430 times)

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Offline Spunkymonkey

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Energy Performance Certificates
« on: June 23, 2013, 01:10:33 PM »
Having just forked out £70 for an EPC that I didn't want, I was wondering what other TSers think of them.

Approximately 15 people viewed my house before it sold and not one of them asked to see the EPC. Similarly, I viewed several properties before buying one and didn't ask for the EPC either. My estate agent says that with the exception of older listed properties, buyers rarely ask for them.

Having read my own EPC, I can see why people aren't interested, because it is a pile of nonsense. One of the recommendations suggests that I should install solar water heating at a cost of £4,000 to £6,000 in order to save £37 per year. So I am now looking for some one who can supply a solar heating system that will remain fully functioning and maintenance free for a period of 108 - 162 years and has the formula for the elixir of life in order that I can out live my new heating system. Surely the report should conclude that installing solar heating would be expensive and likely to ever make a return and is therefore not recommended.

This led me to wonder what qualifies my environmental guru to make such ridiculous recommendations. Apparently, after shelling out £1500 for a whole 3 days of study an assessor can use the letters DipDEA after their name. Most professions would require 3 years studying for a degree following by approx 4 years of post grad work experience to achieve the honour of letters after their name. I wouldn't trust someone with 3 days training to change the tyres on my car, but I am supposed to take their advice before shelling out £14k on solar panels.

Here are the full recommendations (I use the term loosely):-
1. Install low energy bulbs: Cost = £15, Saving = £10/year. Return period = 1.5 years.
2. Install thermostatic radiator values: Cost = £350-£450. Saving = £29/year. Return period = 12 - 15 years.
3. Replace boiler. Cost = £2,200 - £3,000. Saving = £107/year. Return period = 20 - 28 years.
4. Solar water heating. Cost = £4,000 - £6,000. Saving = £37/year. Return period = 108 - 162 years.
5. Solar panels. Cost = £9,000 - £14,000. Saving = £242/year. Return period = 37 - 58 years.

Based on these figures the only sensible recommendations would be to replace the light bulbs and install radiator valves, but even these figures are flawed.

I have low energy bulbs in all of my light fittings that can take them. The true cost of installing low energy bulbs should include the cost of replacing non-compatible light fittings. The irony is that the house that I hope to move in to has an ornamental light fitting in the dining room which takes 12 low energy bulbs and is therefore deemed more green that a single non energy efficient bulb in a less extravagant fitting.

Installing thermostatic radiator valves is a generic recommendation that would have little effect in my house which has a living room / dining room with stairs leading off of it. The heat from the downstairs radiators rises up the stairs whether I like it not. A better recommendation would have been to install a door at the foot of the stairs.

Despite the recommendation to replace the boiler, the EPC assessor admitted that only a fool would replace a working boiler. His true recommendation was to replace the boiler with an energy efficient one when it fails. If I were to replace my boiler and get another EPC done next year, it would recommend that I replace it again as there would no doubt be a more efficient model available. The payback time for a new boiler is 20-28 years, so if I did replace it, I would have to keep it that long and ignore any more efficient models in that timescale. My existing boiler is 20 years old, so assuming that a similar assessment was done when it was installed, I need to keep it for another 8 years.

The final two recommendations are complete nonsense.

So my question is:-

Is the introduction of mandatory EPCs on house sales a genuine environmental measure or is it a job creation scheme in an time of rising unemployment.

Please discuss.




Offline Mart

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Re: Energy Performance Certificates
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2013, 03:51:45 PM »
So I am now looking for some one who can supply a solar heating system that will remain fully functioning and maintenance free for a period of 108 - 162 years and has the formula for the elixir of life in order that I can out live my new heating system.

SCS shirley?
Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.

Offline Terry Reynolds

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Re: Energy Performance Certificates
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2013, 04:14:36 PM »
SM, I had my solar panels fitted, and it ddn't cost anything like the £9,000, you've been quoted, and with the index linked payments for the elec that I produce, I should get my money back in about 8 years, and then profit, at about £1300, a year.. :knuppel2:

Offline Spunkymonkey

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Re: Energy Performance Certificates
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2013, 04:31:16 PM »
SM, I had my solar panels fitted, and it ddn't cost anything like the £9,000, you've been quoted, and with the index linked payments for the elec that I produce, I should get my money back in about 8 years, and then profit, at about £1300, a year.. :knuppel2:

My post wasn't intended to be anti-solar panel, more a criticism of an unwanted and pointless EPC requirement. Your post supports my concerns if the figures recorded on my EPC are so far out.

Surely, the whole point of the EPC is to encourage homeowners to switch to more sustainable energy sources. The figures given in my EPC would discourage the future owner from even investigating the options available.

In my opinion, any one with an interest in all things green would investigate alternative energy regardless of having an EPC. Those who are not interested won't bother to even read the EPC. Anyone with a mild curiosity might read the EPC and then be put off by the figures quoted. Makes the EPC a pointless piece of bureaucracy which ever way you look at it.

I have had to shell out over £11,000 on stamp duty, but am more annoyed about the £70 for the EPC as I don't like being ripped off.

Offline Terry Reynolds

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Re: Energy Performance Certificates
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2013, 04:47:59 PM »
forgot to say SM, that when I had the panels fitted, the EPC cert came with it free of charge..
was done by a lad from the Harding estate office lot..

Offline Muggins

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Re: Energy Performance Certificates
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2013, 05:46:27 PM »
As the EPC's are not about money but about how energy efficient your house is (about the same as mine by the sound of it) then I can see some sense in it, it doesn't say you HAVE to make those changes, just advising you and anyone who buys your house, what it will take to make it an 'A' rating.

If you had that 'A' rating you would be shouting about it and buyers would probably be listening. Because at some point it would actually save fuel and therefore money.

I thought the government had changed their mind about them too. Or was that one of the things they bounced around and did a U turn on?

Ko, I made tentative steps about solar panels last week, as soon as they mentioned a mortgage, I said thanks but no thanks. Which firm did you go with?
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Mart

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Re: Energy Performance Certificates
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2013, 06:06:06 PM »
I'm moderately interested as well, got quoted about £5k.

Trying to work out if adding it on the mortgage gets me a positive return via savings on energy.

Think I'll go on holiday first.
Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.

Offline Terry Reynolds

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Re: Energy Performance Certificates
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2013, 06:36:50 PM »
Mugs, I went with a firm called first 4 solar, from Barnsley.. and ref the EPC, I had to get a D rating to be in the picture..

Offline Spunkymonkey

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Re: Energy Performance Certificates
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2013, 07:48:49 PM »
I thought the government had changed their mind about them too. Or was that one of the things they bounced around and did a U turn on?

They did a U-turn on Home Information Packs (HIPs) but kept the EPC. One of my friends who was unemployed at the time, trained up to be able to do HIPs. His money was wasted as they were later abandoned.

It would make more sense for the buyer to pay for the EPC if they want one, in the same way that they do with a survey. All the assessor does is take a few basic notes and type the information into a computer. If the government put the software on line the seller/buyer (or homeowner interested in home improvements) could do it themselves.

I am not against making my home more energy efficient, but I can't help feeling that we are being fed misleading information making it difficult to make informed decisions.

I understand that the aim is to improve energy efficiency rather than reduce costs, but surely there is a close correlation. As energy prices continue to rise the cheapest solution will often be the most energy efficient one, particularly when you factor in green subsidies and landfill taxes etc.

The green industry is worth billions and I personally feel that the government is more interested in the industry than it is in the environment. Free market economies require growth to survive. Growth and expansion aren't really compatible with caring for the environment.

Offline Muggins

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Re: Energy Performance Certificates
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2013, 08:36:47 PM »
I remembered that we'e sort of had one done, but not paid for it, joining in one of the green survey things funded, we did pretty well as all is insulated and we already had those valve thermostat thingys and double glazing (except for one window upon which I have done a bit of art work) - which reminds me, what's happened to Tobes?

It was suggested that when we replace the boiler we get a condensating jobby.  I'm up for that when and if we change the boiler and I'd love to have solar panels, but wonder if the unconventional build of our house would take the weight?

Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Spunkymonkey

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Re: Energy Performance Certificates
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2013, 09:27:52 PM »
Muggins,

EPC reports are publicly available on the following website https://www.epcregister.com/ . You can search reports by postcode, so if your neighbours have a similar house and have had a report done you could get a good idea of your own properties rating. However, as discussed in the previous posts, I am not convinced that the figures quoted are very accurate.

The biggest contribution that I will be making by moving house is the reduced commute. I will be able to cycle to work thereby reducing but not eliminating my carbon emissions. My bicycle has zero emissions but sadly the aging cyclist doesn't.

This thread has got me thinking about the condensing boiler argument though. If solar panels are getting better and gas is getting more expensive, should we stick with the old boilers and wait until renewable energy allows us to do away with gas fired boilers altogether.

With regards to the other old boiler in my life, I am sticking with her as she is paying half the mortgage.

Offline Des Morgan

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Re: Energy Performance Certificates
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2013, 11:33:46 PM »
Quote
I understand that the aim is to improve energy efficiency rather than reduce costs, but surely there is a close correlation.

Indeed there is. In making your home more energy efficient you should see a drop in the cost associated with energy use.

Quote
As energy prices continue to rise the cheapest solution will often be the most energy efficient one, particularly when you factor in green subsidies and landfill taxes etc

The best way to reduce costs is to use less energy. Not as difficult as some might imagine. However, it does mean rethinking your approach to technology. We can all remember when the TV was 'turned off' and the plug removed from the socket - today almost all appliances remain in 'stand by mode'.

One of the 'best' reasons given to me for not turning them off is that they have clocks and it would be a pain to reset them - that's okay so long as you know that having items on 'stand by' will cost.

 

Offline Des Morgan

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Re: Energy Performance Certificates
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2013, 11:35:18 PM »
Quote
This thread has got me thinking about the condensing boiler argument though. If solar panels are getting better and gas is getting more expensive, should we stick with the old boilers and wait until renewable energy allows us to do away with gas fired boilers altogether
.

Condensing boilers - more trouble than they are worth - in my opinion - others may well think them to be the bee's knees


Offline Muggins

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Re: Energy Performance Certificates
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2013, 09:01:54 AM »
Ref Boilers, the most wasteful use of hot water in our house is the washing of hands. As the water in our taps seems to come directly from the artic (something I've only really noticed in the last few years), when we turn on the hot tap it takes some time for the hot or even warm water to come through, by the time it does, we've finished and wiped our hands, i.e. not having the benefit of the hot water but sucking in cold into the tank. 

Even with a new boiler it would still be the same, so it might be more efficient to have one of those little water heaters above the sink, that comes straight past the heater  with a very short length of pipe between it and you hands. 

We recently had to buy a new Washing machine and I am very impressed with the advances in the technology of that machine since we bought the last one about 15 years ago. 

The weather is not helping with the free use of windpower to dry the clothes though.

Every plug except the fridge freezer and the projection clock is turned off in our house when we go out and at bedtime.
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline zoso

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Re: Energy Performance Certificates
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2013, 10:02:09 AM »
Even more of a racket is the varying prices registered company's charge to give you an EPC. When I put my house up for sale the estate agent said they will get their bloke to do it for £60.

I said thanks but no thanks and found another local company in Google who came round and did it for £39 all in. 

I'm appalled the OP paid £70 for his! My advice - shop around.

Offline Mart

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Re: Energy Performance Certificates
« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2013, 07:49:08 PM »
You can get smart trailing sockets as well.

Plug your gubbins into it, synch it with one of your remotes, mine's on the DVD player, then just hit the remote when you go out, or beddy byes. Turns the lot off completely.

Amuses me to turn the broadband on and off, it's the only exercise the boy gets when he ambles down to see the problem, by which time it is back on.

Got mine from Southern Electric I think, I also used to have that I-Plan but the rechargeable batteries were sh1te, which is kind of ironic.

Switched suppliers now so it's academic.
Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.