Energy certificates mean little to potential buyers

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Homeowners who improve the energy efficiency of their homes might enjoy lower bills but they might not see much benefit when the time comes to sell, says a new survey.

Consumer Focus says that although landlords and homeowners are now legally required to provide an energy performance certificate (EPC) when selling or letting a home, only one person in five said it had any effect on their decision to move in.

Yet one in seven claimed energy efficiency was as important to them as size and price.

Consumer Focus said the apparent lack of interest in energy bills was a worrying trend because Government figures recently showed that carbon emissions coming from Britain’s homes fell by only three per cent between 1990 and 2009.

Consumer Focus energy expert Liz Laine says: “Our survey shows that energy efficiency can influence people when choosing a new home.

“But the information in the EPC is not helping people act on those concerns. With the Government’s Green Deal designed to offer advice tailored to individual homes, just around the corner, EPCs must become a trigger for action, not just a sheet of paper at the bottom of a huge pile of home-buying paperwork.”