Home Information Packs encourage energy savings


Caroline Flint,
Housing Minister,
U.K. Government
London, U.K. — (METERING.COM) — March 11, 2008 – The U.K. government has introduced Home Information Packs (HIPs) that will be given to all purchasers of homes – and the energy information contained in the packs is encouraging home buyers to improve energy efficiency. The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a key component of the HIP; it rates the home’s energy efficiency, and includes recommendations on how to cut fuel bills and reduce carbon emissions. The HIPs were trialed in parts of the country in 2006 and 2007.

Recent research by Ipsos MORI into the HIP area trials showed that consumers were satisfied with the HIPs and are starting to use energy ratings to make their homes greener. Results reveal that 72 percent of sellers were satisfied with the HIP, 79 percent agreed that it contained everything expected, and 81 percent understood the documents, including their energy rating, from A-G, in the Energy Performance Certificate.

Nearly one third of buyers planned to carry out recommendations in the EPC to improve the energy efficiency of their home. This would equate to nearly half a million transactions per year in today’s housing market where consumers took action as a result of the EPC to cut fuel bills and carbon emissions.

The research report highlights that 58 percent of buyers would have liked the opportunity to see the HIP earlier in the process. However, agents were either not showing the packs or providing them too late to consumers to make a difference, according to the findings. The government has already taken action to raise awareness of HIPs and to remind agents of their responsibility to make sure it is readily available, so more people fully benefit from the packs.

Housing Minister Caroline Flint said: "Consumers are already benefiting from the introduction of HIPs. Search costs are falling as a result of increased transparency in the market, energy ratings can help people to reduce fuel bills, and first time buyers are receiving important information about their home for free.

"I welcome the fact that buyers are starting to act on their energy ratings, which could cut a million tonnes of carbon a year as well as helping families with their fuel costs.”