Grants to cut home energy waste

House-buyers purchasing the most energy-wasteful properties could get grants of up to £2,700 to improve energy efficiency, the Government has said.

“Energy Performance Certificates” are to become mandatory for all homes sold from June 1st as part of the new Home Information Packs (HIPs), and the Government wants to make grants of around £100-£300 available for homes rated lowest on energy efficiency.

The money will be used for improved insulation and other energy-saving measures. Grants of up to £2,700 will be available for some first-time buyers wanting to improve the carbon footprint of their properties, housing minister Yvette Cooper said on Wednesday. Other measures are also in the pipeline to make it easier for home-buyers to access energy efficiency grants, to be worked out following a major meeting between energy suppliers, local authorities and the Energy Saving Trust.

“We want homebuyers with poorly rated homes to be able to get extra support. From 1 June we want homebuyers to have easy access to help so they can make changes recommended in their EPC,” Yvette Cooper said.

“Average homebuyers purchasing E, F or G rated homes should be able to qualify for £100-£300 support to help with better insulating their homes. Depending on their personal circumstances or the nature of the improvements needed, they may be able to get even more help.”

New research shows householders want more information on energy efficiency and that most back the idea of home energy ratings, the Department for Communities said. A recent poll showed 72% of house-buyers wanted to be better informed about energy efficiency while 71% considered energy ratings a good idea.

Yvette Cooper said: “HIPs are simply energy certificates alongside the legal documents and searches that you need anyway. But by providing the information clearly in a pack at the beginning of the process, HIPs can speed up the process making it clearer for consumers what they are getting and paying for, to improve services and keep costs down.

“It is important that vested interests are not put ahead of the needs of the consumer and the wider environment. The challenge instead to all in the home buying and selling process should be to seize on the opportunity from HIPs and EPCs to help homebuyers get their bills and their carbon emissions down.

Goska Romanowicz

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