Buyers could not care less about Energy Performance Certificates, a property search company has said.
County Homesearch, which has 26 offices countrywide, said this morning that EPCs, introduced in 2007, are redundant. It said EPCs are never mentioned by buyers, sellers or agents, and have no role to play.
The company said it has never come across a single case where buyers have queried the energy performance of a home to negotiate on price – and added that the EPCs are often of lamentable quality.
The company poured cold water on the claim by the Department of Energy and Climate Change that sellers making energy improvements to a property could boost its value by up to 38%.
Jonathan Haward, spokesperson for County Homesearch said: “With extensive knowledge of what is happening on the ground, it safe to say the EPC is a blunt instrument and has made no discernible difference to housing stock in the country.
“Aside from the fact that the reports can sometimes be inaccurate and incomplete, buyers prioritise factors such as aesthetics, transport links and security over energy efficiency.
“The structural survey is usually relied upon for in-depth information on levels of insulation which is an indication to energy consumption within a property.
“Buyers that go for larger period properties or listed properties are least interested in energy efficiency. They proceed, aware they are likely to be drafty and have higher heating costs, ignoring the EPC report even if one is applicable.”
His colleague Richard Le Neve Foster, director at County Homesearch Thames & Chilterns, agreed.
He said: “My experience of EPCs is that the information is often inaccurate or inappropriate.
“I saw one recently that recommended double glazing to be installed on a listed building and a recommendation for a new efficient gas boiler when the property ran on heating oil and did not have connection to mains gas.”