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Written by rosalind renshaw

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.

Please post your thoughts below and also email info@splintacampaign.co.uk

We have also set up a survey and ask all EAT readers to respond to it as it will help gauge industry feelings. It takes less than a minute.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CCYZFR6

Comments

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    No one is interested in an HIP or an EPC when looking at a house, why should we pay for all that printing (think of the carbon footprint!) just to throw it away? They are interested if they buy the house. One can be transmitted electronically to those buyers with email and a copy for review in the office, that is all that is needed.

    If the EU wants all that wastage I suggest they pay for it from the milliions sent to it by our Government in supporting its unelected unwanted overweening self-importance.

    • 13 July 2011 10:02 AM
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    The biggest problem with the proposed changes is the simple fact that......(stay with me based on my typing skills)

    The whole energy issue and reason for the EPC is surrounding being more energy efficient for the good of the environment.........

    So lets help the environment by adding and I will use my companies stats as an example.........(although slightly diluted for ease)

    We had 665 instructions last year Jan to Dec between 2.5 offices (1 only opened in June)
    40 Brochures on average for each property (possible more for some)
    6 page EPC attached to each one ....... (this year we are up on instructions)

    So roughly 160,000 more peices of paper to print, plus electricity used to run printer, ink used to produce print, delivery costs for the suppliers of the ink and paper and servicing of the printer (as it would be worked much harder) ie petrol for the engineer etc.

    So the whole logic of helping the environment by doing this add a full EPC to every brochure is ridiculous.

    MY OPINION - The energy companies with the ££BILLIONS of profit made should be the ones carrying the can for this, not home owners or EA's.

    The Government could say very easily to the energy suppliers on each tarrif change or company swap from one supplier to another for the home in question THE HOME must have a new energy report done, by the supplier, then at least every 12 to 24 months these would be being done, but based on a consumers feeling that they need to reduce bills, usually the reason for swapping! so possibly the right time to be preaching about how to reduce running costs.

    Surely we would all agree the Energy Companies could carry the can on this, not the EA's and until then sorry Mike good luck to Nick in his campaign!

    PS Mike, what do you think about people campaigning for house prices to drop?

    • 05 July 2011 13:11 PM
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    @Outside Inner

    "Can't help thinkning that "campaigns" are a bit out of fashion. Would it not simply be better to make some positive suggestions and ensure that everyone see the sense in them? "

    Heh, heh, heh! Thank you for a good chuckle.

    Yes, politicians are well known for listening to positive suggestions. Look at all those people who positively suggested that the poll tax was unfair (people with whom I disagreed, but that's not the point). Politicians took no notice whatsoever - as soon as they started tearing London apart - they couldn't get it repealed fast enough.

    Perhaps positive thinking would be enough on its own?

    • 04 July 2011 12:26 PM
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    just bring back HIPS they were the answer to everything they were perfect in every way and allowed the corporates to make a quick ££ from the vendor as soon as instructed.......

    • 02 July 2011 07:59 AM
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    Well Done Nick I fully support your ideas keep up the good work

    • 01 July 2011 19:04 PM
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    @Sidney

    I agree.

    EA’s quite rightly should give serious consideration to the ‘rights’ of the public but, as I have opined before, the NFoPP is not a consumer organization, it is a ‘trade organization’ which should CONCENTRATE primarily on the rights and interests of its members and fight the unnecessary legislation being constantly suggested by the ill informed consumer associations and Tom, Dick & Harriet parliamentarians.

    • 01 July 2011 12:05 PM
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    Why is Peter Bolton King so quiet?

    Why is he not rephresenting NAEA Members?

    Is he to busy selling training courses?

    Can we not appeal to Splinter to make a take over bid for the NAEA and become the voice of Estate Agents as it would appear Peter BK has lost his?

    • 01 July 2011 11:46 AM
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    Let us remember that the EPC and the way it should be shown is an EU Directive. This means that our governent is limited in what it can do or change.

    leave the EU?

    • 01 July 2011 10:47 AM
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    Yawn!

    Wake up the lot of you, debating whether peopl ask to see the EPC's or whether this or that will not stop what's obviously somewhere up around the next corner!

    Just as we have accepted variable road tax based on emission so shall it be that buildings will inherit the same taxation basis.

    All this postering is quite frankly of waste of your own energy...conserve it and channel it in the right direction like fighting to stay afloat in a diminishing market!

    As sure as eggs are chickens, Governments across the globe are seizing on the next big money spinner in terms of taxation that being carbon...where else can they squeeze the populous for more!?

    As I suspected back in 2006/7 energy performance of buildings was going to be a 3 phased approach to Measure - Incentivise - Tax.

    The measurement phase has stumbled due to non compliance which will be tightened up and enforced robustly. The feed in tarif, Green Deal and the RHI incentives is the second phase and phase three will occur once they feel enough buildings have been measured.

    Phase three may well include a drop dead date for all buildings to have an EPC from this point on a building tax would be pretty simple to impose.

    Don't compare the HIP to this the VAT raised on HIPs was loose change compared to carbon emissions. Hip legislation was home grown, the credibility of the pack was blown apart the moment Kelly stood up and declared the condition survey a voluntary element, Splinta didn't kill it, it killed itself in 2007 and just took a while to fizzle out.

    The EPC has been pushed by Government as a device for the need of the people, the reality is for the need of taxation.

    The proposals you plan to campaign against is nothing more than greater transparency of who is complying and who isn't thus making it easier to weed out those who are flouting the requirement.

    • 01 July 2011 10:38 AM
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    Please stop the grey suit brigade from tinkering.

    OK, EPC is here to stay (because 'they' say so), in a capitalist economy I was always led to believe market forces would always prevail, that is the essence of a free market. If the buying public wanted this information they would continually ask for it. This would lead EA's to actively look at innovative ways of bringing EPC's to the forefront. The fact no-one asks for EPC's is a clear indication of their popularity.

    Would they like us to add the MLA ID proofs to the particulars too?

    Yes it is law to produce an EPC on demand, but please don't pass laws forcing the industry on where and how to display them. It is not necessary.

    • 01 July 2011 09:33 AM
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    Nick salmon is quite right, the new proposals are totally daft. There has got to be a simpler, less costly and relevant way of improving what we already have to do with regard to EPC's. At the moment consumers really are not that interested and giving them 2 more pages to read will not help, especially when the pages suggested are not the most interesting bit for a consumer anyway. We are trying despearately hard to move away from more paperwork and keep things simple so why keep trying to make our job more difficult when things are hard enough anyway! Just beggars belief some times.
    As for suggestions of re-introducing a HIP, well lets not even go there.

    • 01 July 2011 09:29 AM
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    Agreed with Richard and Jackie, perhaps it could be called the HSP, house sale pack.

    • 01 July 2011 09:27 AM
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    Can't help thinkning that "campaigns" are a bit out of fashion. Would it not simply be better to make some positive suggestions and ensure that everyone see the sense in them?

    I know it's the same thing by another name, but the further away we can get from marchng round with placards the better.

    • 01 July 2011 09:13 AM
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    Now there's an idea Richard!!

    I wonder why I didnt think of that one!!!

    • 01 July 2011 08:46 AM
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    I agree with JJ & for once have to agree with Nick, that the attachment of a printed EPC in whole or part is absurd.

    I also agree about the loss of the HIP. Yes it was appallingly implemented but I hear so many people saying that it was becoming useful. I surveyed a house yesterday where, if I had seen the LR title plan like I always did with HIPs, (& the buyer's conveyancer has not yet received it) there would not be the ensuing queries, to-ing & fro-ing, uncertainty & potential hassle. This sort of thing happens frequently.

    Someone start a campaign for proper HIPs!

    • 01 July 2011 08:42 AM
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    For once in my life I agree with Nick Salmon that it is quite ludicrous to attach a full EPC to sale particulars. Given the majority of us agents provide details electronically these days I am waiting with interest for our agency software houses to provide us with a solution. Please God we are not reverting to duplex printing and staplers!!

    Of course, if we had an efective Home Information Pack in place, as originally envisiged, we would not be facing this latest problem! ;-)

    • 01 July 2011 08:28 AM
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    May I just make clear that if a campaign is launched it will not be aimed at scrapping EPC's. They are here to stay and that is accepted. The only aim of a campaign would be to modify the proposal to attach additional EPC information to printed sales particulars.

    • 01 July 2011 08:18 AM
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