Nick Salmon is ready to re-launch SPLINTA to turn its guns on the latest EPC proposals.
He says he will do so if people in the industry give him a clear mandate.
A SPLINTA campaign would not be against EPCs as such, as they are a EU requirement, but would focus on offering a simpler, more sensible and positive alternative to one of the key proposed requirements.
Salmon originally launched SPLINTA to see off Home Information Packs – an aim successfully achieved after years of political lobbying and high-profile PR.
The latest EPC changes were due to have kicked in today, but were delayed at the last minute.
Together with other changes, they are now likely to come into effect on October 1.
It will mean that estate and letting agents who do not produce an EPC within 28 days of marketing will face sanctions from Trading Standards, and in particular EPCs will have to be attached to all marketing particulars.
Last month, Salmon wrote to make an alternative proposal to housing minister Grant Shapps.
He suggested that including more information than the existing EPC graphs on details would be an overkill and a waste of printing and paper.
Instead, he suggested “a more efficient and less costly way of bringing energy information to the consumer”.
Salmon’s suggested solution is to keep the graphs on the particulars, but to include a notice directing people to read the whole EPC before committing to a transaction.
However, Salmon’s suggestion has been totally ignored.
The official reply, written by a civil servant at CLG, did not even refer to his proposal.
However, it has left him feeling that the currently proposed changes are worth a fight.
For one thing, the response still talks about ‘proposals’, suggesting they are not set in stone.
But Salmon is also amazed that the response also makes clear that only the first two pages of the EPC will need to be included in particulars – and none of the recommendations.
Salmon told EAT: “How stupid is that? They are leaving out the one bit of information that might just be of use to a consumer.”
The CLG response says the proposed changes are intended to improve compliance on EPCs.
It ends by ‘clarifying’ that “the timing of the proposed changes is uncertain as the Regulations have not been laid before Parliament yet. We will be issuing further guidance in due course.”
Salmon told EAT: “In the past I have avoided being drawn into whether an EPC is a good or bad thing, but it seems to me that adding this information to the sales particulars is a complete waste of time and money and will not enhance consumer knowledge to any significant degree.
“I’m ready to set SPLINTA on the case if the industry wants this fought.”
If you wish to support a SPLINTA campaign, please make your feelings loud and clear.
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