A RICS report commissioned by Communities and Local Government (CLG) highlights actions that must be taken to raise the importance of a property's energy performance throughout the home buying and selling process.
Faithful+Gould's Director for Sustainability, Sean Lockie, a steering group member for the project and report, part of the UK Government's Heat and Energy Savings Strategy.
The project makes recommendations for government and industry to consider in order to drive consumer demand for properties with superior energy performance.
These include the need to:
- Ensure consumers understand the benefits of energy efficient home improvements and have confidence in their effectiveness
- Improve the energy performance certification (EPC) by making its content easier to understand, including details of how a property's performance compares with similar properties, helping consumers make informed decisions.
- Segment the market both by type of consumer and by property type to target government policy and industry action
- Engage further with lenders, conveyancers and estate agents to promote the benefits of energy efficient properties
- Ensure that relevant energy performance data is captured and analysed by both industry and government, improving transparency
- Improve guidance, practice, information and training for all professionals
RICS has also made a pledge to offer new guidance to valuers. This will take the form of a Residential Valuation Information Paper, due for publication early in 2011. This 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.
RICS spokesperson Barry Hall writes:
"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."