The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has publicly expressed dissatisfaction over Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s recent reversal on Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) minimum standards, demonstrating a departure from the organization’s typically reserved stance. This reaction follows an anticipation for a clear direction and additional support from the government, something the housing industry has been seeking for several years.
RICS, not concealing its disappointment, stated that the continuing ambiguity around EPCs and corresponding concerns is undermining confidence in the built environment sector. “The ongoing indecision about this and related matters does not fill the built environment sector with confidence,” RICS declared in a notably candid statement.
It is evident that Sunak’s decision hasn’t been well received in the professional circles of RICS. The organization, however, is hopeful for the government to present an alternative solution swiftly to enhance energy efficiency. The enhancement of energy efficiency is seen as pivotal not only for addressing climate change but also for ensuring economic and social well-being.
RICS said, “RICS looks forward to the government providing an alternative solution to improve energy efficiency given its importance in not just tackling climate change, but economic and social well-being.”
The Institution is also advocating for an exhaustive reform of the EPC methodology during this period to guarantee the precise evaluation and encouragement of energy performance improvements. “The government should also use this time to undertake a much-needed reform of the EPC methodology to ensure we accurately assess and incentivise energy performance improvements,” RICS added.
While the announcement of extra support for the boiler upgrade scheme was welcomed by RICS, they emphasized the necessity for a comprehensive strategy that endorses energy efficiency and decarbonisation, which should not be confined to energy products.
To contribute to this comprehensive approach, RICS believes the newly introduced second edition of the Whole Life Carbon Assessment for the Built Environment (WLCA) will be instrumental. This tool is anticipated to significantly aid in accomplishing net-zero targets in the built environment sector both domestically and internationally.
In conclusion, RICS remains optimistic for an integrated, reformative approach from the government to address the energy efficiency and decarbonisation needs of the built environment sector while underscoring the paramount importance of clarity and support in these matters.