Well, the launch day of the Home Improvement Packs (HIPs) is finally here and with it comes the arrival of Energy Performance Certificates (EPC). Given all the hullabaloo there has been over the last few months with the "Will they, won’t they?", "What’s included, what’s not included", and the threats of a judicial review – amongst other things – it’s been a remarkably low key affair. Anyway – I still think it is an excellent idea. It will give the opportunity for people, for the first time, to understand their energy consumption. It will let them know – possibly for the first time – what level of energy standard a home is currently reaching and could be reaching.
There has been the usual group of organisations saying that the introduction of HIPs would mean the end of the world as we know it. However, the reality is that because HIPs include the EPC, it means the energy efficiency of a property will suddenly be at the forefront of both the owner and potential buyer minds. It is an opportunity we should grasp with both hands, regardless of how difficult it was getting the legislation through. I would be interested to get any feedback from estate agents, independent financial advisers and mortgage providers, as to their views as to how this is likely to work. There are clearly some very different opinions out there.
By the way, I was reading in the paper this morning about the much heralded transfer of Eurostar to St Pancras in November. As a regular commuter to Waterloo I wonder if Network Rail and whoever else is involved will grasp the opportunity to expand the public transport capacity into Waterloo as a result of this transfer – or will we see yet another retail development in the centre of London at the expense of improving public transport for the 250,000 commuters who use Waterloo station everyday. What is your view? Trains or shoppers at Platform 11!