How can brokers engage property owners? – Elmhurst Energy

How can brokers engage property owners?

Andrew Parkin, Director at Elmhurst Energy and Chair of the Property Energy Professionals Association, recently presented the importance of engaging property owners in energy efficiency, providing insights into how brokers can effectively engage homeowners and the benefits of doing so.

Understanding Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) 

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are critical tools in assessing the energy efficiency of properties. There are two types of EPCs: domestic and non-domestic, each focusing on different aspects. Domestic EPCs primarily address fuel poverty and compare the energy efficiency of homes. They use an A to G rating system to indicate the property’s efficiency, which can help prospective buyers compare properties. These certificates are valid for ten years, but it’s important to use the most up-to-date information, as older EPCs may no longer be accurate due to changes in the property or advancements in energy efficiency standards.

Upcoming changes in the EPC methodology will make these assessments more accurate but also more time-consuming and potentially more costly. A new home energy model under consultation aims to improve understanding of building performance, aiding in better decision-making for energy efficiency improvements. This new model is expected to provide a more detailed and accurate picture of a property’s energy performance, which is crucial as the UK moves towards its legally binding target of being net zero by 2050.

Why energy efficiency matters

The UK is on a path to achieving net zero by 2050, necessitating a significant shift away from fossil fuels. This transition will affect heating systems, moving from gas boilers to renewable heating systems like heat pumps. Additionally, the transportation sector is transitioning to electric vehicles, highlighting the broader impact of decarbonisation efforts. Energy efficiency is not only about reducing carbon emissions but also about enhancing the comfort and financial stability of homeowners.

EPCs help identify potential improvements for energy efficiency, providing recommendations that can save money and reduce carbon emissions. These recommendations are based on the energy performance of the property and can include measures like insulation, solar panels, and more efficient heating systems. However, current EPCs may not always reflect all possible improvements, such as heat pumps, which are set to be included in future updates. This means that staying informed about changes in EPC requirements and recommendations is crucial for both brokers and homeowners.

Effective energy efficiency interventions

Implementing energy efficiency measures requires a strategic approach. A “fabric first” intervention prioritises insulating the property before upgrading heating systems. This maximises the benefits of new heating systems and minimises disruption to the occupants. Adding value to the property and ensuring a good return on investment is also crucial.

Key measures include:

  • Insulation: Insulation is a win-win-win measure, saving money, energy, and carbon. However, it can be challenging to justify based on return on investment alone due to its long payback period. Despite this, good insulation adds significant value to the property and enhances thermal comfort.
  • Solar PV: Solar panels are a compelling option for many homeowners. They save money immediately and generate renewable energy that can be stored or sold back to the grid. Solar PV systems are likely to add value to the property and are widely understood and accepted by buyers.
  • Heat Pumps: Heat pumps are efficient and environmentally friendly but can be more complex to implement. They require proper sizing and installation to be effective, and while they are more efficient than gas boilers, the higher cost of electricity can offset these benefits. Heat pumps work best in well-insulated homes and can significantly reduce carbon emissions, making them a key part of the UK’s decarbonisation strategy.

It’s important to install energy efficiency measures in the correct order to maximise their benefits. For instance, upgrading the heating system should ideally follow improvements in insulation to ensure the system operates efficiently. Additionally, considering the overall impact on the property’s value and the level of disruption to occupants is essential when planning these interventions.

The changing landscape of EPCs

The energy efficiency landscape is evolving, with significant changes expected in EPCs. These updates will include more accurate assessments and new recommendations, particularly for heat pumps. Keeping an up-to-date EPC is essential, especially for properties nearing a sale, as an accurate EPC can significantly impact a property’s perceived value. Buyers are increasingly prioritising energy efficiency, driven by rising energy costs and greater awareness of environmental issues.

An updated EPC can help increase a property’s appeal and market value. As the methodology for calculating EPCs becomes more detailed, the assessments will take longer and may cost more, but they will provide a more precise picture of a property’s energy performance. This is particularly important as new energy efficiency standards are introduced and as the market starts to price energy efficiency into property valuations.

Leveraging energy assessors

Energy assessors are experts in understanding and improving EPC ratings. Their knowledge is invaluable, especially during times of change in EPC methodologies. Brokers should leverage the expertise of energy assessors to provide accurate, insightful guidance to property owners. Energy assessors can help identify the most cost-effective improvements and ensure that any work carried out will significantly improve the property’s energy efficiency.

By working closely with energy assessors, brokers can help property owners understand the benefits of energy efficiency improvements, navigate the complexities of the current and evolving standards, and make informed decisions that enhance the value and comfort of their properties.

Create additional revenue by supporting energy efficiency

About Propflo

Propflo is an award winning data-driven AI platform that supports lenders and property businesses to comply with energy efficiency regulations, meet their climate targets, and then support their customers in their wider ownership journey.

Propflo was founded by proptech entrepreneur Luke Loveridge and geospatial and risk data scientist Dr Daniel Moyo. It also has world leading AI expert Mike Tipping as an advisor.

www.propflo.co.uk

www.linkedin.com/company/propflo

Contacts:
Felix Schraff
comms@propflo.co.uk
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