Take a deep breath - we have some positive things to say about the Scottish Government and EPCs!
Our consultation response is now up here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1rywnzx6TMz1FFTxMUmlosnc5F5wMGlXc/view?usp=sharing
And GCU has issued the media release below. Please help us circulate this information and build consensus around the key messages. This is our best chance to make EPCs (and more) fit for purpose in over a decade. Big thanks to the Building Standards Division for engaging positively with us.
More to follow.
Scottish researchers push for EPC reform and real energy data inclusion
Researchers are advocating for significant changes to the Scottish Government's reform of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) and building standards.
An expert group composed of organisations including the BEAM Centre at Glasgow Caledonian University, Common Weal, The Energy Poverty Research Initiative (EPRi), Atkins Architecture, and Net Zero Associates Ltd is pushing for:
Inclusion of real energy consumption data: They want EPCs to include actual energy consumption data, not just modelled data, along with anonymised information about how the property has been used. This would help new occupants understand how their energy usage might differ from previous occupants.
Energy use metric in pounds: They suggest adding an energy use metric in terms of pounds, based on average energy prices in Scotland or the UK. This would make it easier for people to understand the financial implications of their energy consumption.
Average U-Value/m2: They propose including an average U-value per square meter as a fabric performance indicator, along with information about servicing requirements for building systems.
Cooling energy: Recognising the increasing importance of cooling energy due to climate change, they recommend including a figure for how much energy a building uses for cooling.
Changes to validity periods and trigger points: They suggest altering the validity periods and trigger points for EPCs to encourage energy efficiency upgrades, particularly in poorly performing properties. This includes shorter renewal periods for social housing and rental properties, as well as adding trigger points for property modifications.
The group also mentions possible changes in how retrofitting impacts are measured and the potential inclusion of EPCs in a holistic building performance certificate.
Glasgow Caledonian’s Dr Keith Baker expressed optimism about the Scottish Government's willingness to address these issues and the hope that the group effort will lead to meaningful changes, including the inclusion of real energy consumption data in EPCs.
He said: “We are very pleased that the Scottish Government is now finally taking us seriously on these and other issues, and we hope that the excellent engagement we’ve had with the Building Standards Division and the many areas where we share common ground will translate through to action by the Scottish ministers.
“I have been assured that I will not have to wait another ten years to see real energy consumption data included in EPCs. If that happens, I’ll be able to retire knowing that all the work on this that I’ve done since starting my PhD in 2003 will not have gone to waste.”