The news that the new coalition Government have suspended the HIPS packs for home sellers has bought a little relief to the housing market.
Costing anywhere between £200 to £400, the often criticised packs are being replaced with an Energy Performance Certificate which will show how energy efficient a property is. The cost of these is expected to be around £60.
Every home on the market will require one – within 28 days of being placed on the market (under current EU law).
Whilst the new scheme has been welcomed by those in the business of selling homes, it’s not such good news for the thousands of people who trained to be home inspectors. Many inspection firms have already laid off large numbers of staff as homeowners just putting their homes on the market heard of the suspension order and cancelled their HIPS inspections.
It’s thought that the task of issuing the energy efficiency certificates could be handed to the power utility companies rather than the dedicated inspection companies of present.
What isn’t clear is if this will have any effect on the way energy efficiency certificates are issued for double glazing installations. However, with the emphasis being placed on energy efficiency now, I think we can expect even more attention to be paid to the energy ratings on not just double glazing, but electrical goods and heating systems as well. Not to mention insulation products where they’re used in construction of conversions and extensions.
There’s every reason to assume that energy efficiency certificates currently issued when double glazing is installed will continue to play a major role for home sellers and buyers alike.
Older properties in particular will be keen to get the best rating possible so owners should certainly be looking at a-rated windows as standard.
And there’s more good news for homeowners – whether they’re selling their homes or not. Many window companies up and down the UK are running similar offers at the moment, which offer a-rated energy efficient windows at no extra cost. The extra efficiency is usually gained through special glass coatings and inert gas filled cavities between panes.
Previously, some energy and consumer watchdogs have questioned the energy saving between a-rated and the more standard c-rated windows not being consistent with the extra costs of the a-rated designs. However, with such offers now around, this is the perfect time to take full advantage and enquire about a-rated replacement windows for your home.