The EPC is ten years old this month
Where did the time go? Was it really ten years since the first Energy Performance Certificates were issued? Indeed it was, and we should have cracked open the champagne earlier this month. Shortly afterwards, the EPC consultancy industry was born. For us, this was our Year Zero Moment.
The EPC (well, Energy Performance Certificate to give it its Sunday name) was first issued on the 01 August 2007. They were issued as one component of the UK Government’s Home Information Packs. The idea of HIPs were about informing potential home buyers over the energy efficiency of their property (or properties). The HIPs didn’t get that good a reception owing to their perceived bureaucracy. Its biggest critics were the mid-market newspapers.
2010 saw a change of government, from Labour to a coalition with Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties. Kowtowing to the mid-market newspapers (sympathetic to the bigger coalition partner), Home Information Packs were scrapped within days after that year’s General Election. The EPC was, sensibly, retained.
Energy Performance Certificates had a troubled toddlerhood. Their introduction coincided with a housing crisis in 2008. This was also the year when the credit crunch was in full swing, which saw the bail out of Lloyds TSB, the Royal Bank of Scotland, and Northern Rock.
The EPC has its roots in the 2004 Housing Act. This in turn has its roots in European Union Directive 2002/91/EC. The EU’s 2002 directive concerns the energy performance of buildings across its Member States.
Will EPCs be around post-Brexit? With Article 50 having been triggered earlier this year, we hope Energy Performance Certificates remain part of British law after 2019. Here’s to the next ten years of EPCs.
EPC Yorkshire, 21 August 2017.