To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans his Department has to ensure that the EPC action plan due to be published later in 2020 ensures that off-grid homeowners are not incentivised to stay on higher carbon, cheaper fuels to meet the minimum energy efficiency standard due to the inclusion of input fuel cost in the EPC methodology.
EPCs are a widely used measure of the energy performance of buildings, both in the residential and commercial sectors, and are a key tool in promoting energy efficiency improvements to buildings.
The EPC Call for Evidence ran from 26 July 2018 to 19 October 2018 and sought evidence on how EPCs performed against three attributes: quality, availability, and encouraging action to improve energy efficiency. The forthcoming Call for Evidence Summary of Responses will outline the responses received from the Call for Evidence, including on effectiveness of EPCs.
Alongside this, an EPC Action Plan will build on the views expressed as part of the Call for Evidence, alongside government policy work, to set out a series of actions which the government will take forward to maximise the effectiveness of EPCs as a tool for the future.
The Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) and Reduced Data SAP (RdSAP) methodologies which underpin EPCs provide accurate and reliable assessments of the Energy Efficiency Rating (EER), an indicator of the assumed energy cost per square metre of a home, and the Environmental Impact Rating (EIR), an indicator of the carbon dioxide emissions intensity per square metre, of a home. They are updated regularly in line with updates to Part L of the Building Regulations. We will keep the ratings we use under review as we develop policies and plans for improving the energy efficiency of homes and reducing fuel poverty, including those in rural areas.
The Clean Growth Strategy also committed to ‘phase out installation of high carbon fossil fuel heating in buildings not connected to the gas grid, starting with new build, during the 2020s’. In 2018 we ran an extensive programme of engagement with industry and consumers, to seek views on how industry, government and consumers could work together to phase out the installation of high carbon fossil fuels from homes and businesses off the gas grid, and we will be consulting on proposals in due course.
We will publish a Heat and Buildings Strategy in due course which will set out the comprehensive set of action to decarbonise buildings, joining up approaches to improving energy efficiency of the building stock and the roll-out of low carbon heating.