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Energy assessments – are they worth the fuss?

Anyone marketing or renting a property in the last few months should have been visited by a DEA, not a drug enforcement agent, but a Domestic Energy Assessor.  What it all about and is it worth it you might well have thought.

The starting point to this issue is the crazy situation that there are some properties out there that seem to be intent on heating half of Market Harborough.  The poorer your property is insulated the worst you are going to be as the heat escapes through the walls, windows and loft.  This is a crazy waste of your money as well as a rather reckless use of the world’s resources as well as contributing to “global warming”.

An assessor is now required to visit all residential properties that are to be marketed for sale or rent.  Indeed there are further rules for industrial and commercial property and the need for them to be assessed.  However here I will concentrate on residential property.

The assessor will need to inspect and measure many of the components of the house including the boiler, loft insulation, windows, walls and roof construction, light bulbs and electric meters.  In addition the age of the property has to be established as this has a crucial effect on the rating.

All this data is then fed in to the software which will produce the rating and the standard recommendations.  The most energy efficient are Grade A and the worst Grade G.  The average for England is Grade E.  Recommendations include cavity wall insulation, double glazing, extra loft insulation, a more efficient boiler, more low energy light bulbs, internal insulation, wind turbines and solar panels.  The report also predicted what you current energy cost are and what they could be after those improvements.

What’s all the fuss about then?

On the negative side there are criticism that this is more regulation and cost to be paid for by the estate agent and homeowner or landlord.  There is a frustration with interference for European and the nanny state.  A reality that with such a diverse housing stock there can never be a one size fits all solution.  Will the purchaser of a £Million property be put off because there were solid walls in the 18th Century Rectory. Fair points.

On the other hand wasting money by heating up your street rather than your home is not sensible.

William Naylor practise at Naylors at 12 The Square and is an estate agent and domestic energy assessor.