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Energy Performance Certificates

These are the law in the UK.  Will we have them in the US, and what are the implications?

An article in the Guardian of April 13, 2010 states “Since April 2008, all new homes have had to meet tough standards on draught proofing, lighting and heating. All homes require an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) indicating how they rate. But at least 30,000 of the 300,000 homes built since then do not meet these legal standards, according to official figures just released”.

The catch is that the inspectors rating these houses are either overworked, not well trained, or employed by the developers they are meant to rate.  It reminds me of the rating agencies hired by the sellers of mortgage backed securities to provide AAA ratings.

My prediction is that such certificates won’t become law in the US anytime soon.  But more and more home buyers will  insist on an energy audit in the same way they insist on a home inspection prior to purchase.  It’s a small investment to make.  Home inspection and energy audit will tell a prospective buyer a lot about a house.  It’s an extra service that real estate agents should add to their list of items to do when marketing a house.

(For purposes of disclosure I, as an energy auditor, am an interested party;-)

From The Guardian: Heat loss, shown by this thermal imaging picture, is supposed to be minimised by the new Energy Performance Certificates. Photograph: PA

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