Whilst all the shenanigans, disagreements, walk-outs and tantrums are going on in Copenhagen, it’s good to see the publication of a thoroughly practical piece of research by the National Energy Foundation entitled – not terribly excitingly - Energy Performance Certificates: Seizing the Opportunity. What is exciting though are the key findings contained with the report. One that really leapt out at me – and bear in mind the research is based on a review of 300,000 (Yes! 300,000!) EPCs issued in the year to March 2009 – is that if the recommendations in those EPCs were actioned by the householder then on average it would reduce the home's CO2 emissions by over 1 tonne and fuel bills by over £180 per year.
The good news is that all of these savings come from familiar cost effective measures such as loft and cavity wall insulation and standard heating system improvements. Equally impressive is that more than two thirds of home buyers surveyed had made some form of improvement to their home in the months since buying it with nearly 40% saying they had made significant improvements, including energy efficiency measures. So what does this tell us? Well, it tells us that the EPC has the potential to help and inform householders on what low cost energy saving measures to take – and in the process reduce CO2 emissions by some 1.36 million tonnes. Not only that, but given we're living through a period of huge financial restraint – it will reduce energy costs to citizens by £200 million in a year! So, whilst the squabbling goes on between the great and the good, let’s just all push on, do our bit and however seemingly small - let’s seize the opportunity.