Over 80% of home buyers attach little or no importance to the energy efficiency rating of a house being offered for sale, and even the Government’s own “Better Regulation Commission” has described the introduction of energy performance certificates as “ill considered”.

With the introduction of the Government’s Home Information Packs firago still apparently due to crash into the housing market on 1 June, it is clear that home buyers can’t see the importance of an Energy Efficiency Certificate which will provide houses with a fridge/freezer style A-G rating when they are offered for sale.

Super portal which brings together property for sale from across the internet has surveyed users of its site and the conclusions make more uncomfortable reading for Government.

Over 82% of home movers would disregard an energy efficiency rating that might be attached to a property being offered for sale and of those, nearly 90% simply wouldn’t believe it. The survey also found that 67% of buyers felt that they would make energy improvements to a property when they moved in only if it would save them money regardless of the energy rating.

Commenting on the results, Henry Pryor, founder of said: “The Governments insistence that home owners provide Energy Efficiency Reports before a property is marketed is both unnecessary and a waste of energy itself.

“If they really think a buyer is going to amend his or her offer on a £200,000 home because it has a D rating rather than a C rating then they have completely misunderstood the current market where in some parts of the country there are five or six bidders for a property. A selling agent or vendor is unlikely to take a buyer seriously who wants £300 off the property price to put towards lagging the loft!”

The Primemove survey comes hard on the heels of a report from the Better Regulation Commission, whose chairman Rik Haythornthwaite said yesterday: 

“In our recent review of the regulatory aspects of the Stern report, we explicitly cautioned against ill considered regulatory responses to the climate change challenge. Here we have an example of proposals that are not part of a clear strategic framework and impose additional administration burdens with inadequate justification.

“We would like to see evidence that all options to minimise costs have been considered. These regulatory proposals, though aimed at reducing carbon emissions, fall short of our expectations for good regulation and, in particular, fail our recently recommended tests for better climate change policy.”

Mr Pryor added: “Having completed its most recent consultation on 21 February into the final preparations for the launch of Home Information Packs (HIPs) on the 1 June, the Government would be well advised to stop and listen. RICS, Council of Mortgage Lenders, and NAEA have all spoken out against the proposed
implementation of HIPs, and have all advised alternatives that would perhaps achieve the objectives better and although the HIP now on the table is hardly recognisable from what was originally proposed, there are still clearly major problems.

“What is proposed would appear to be of little help to the property buying public and is clearly regarded as unworkable by the Government’s own advisers. It’s time for some leadership here and for the Government to put HIPs on hold while they work out what to do. Energy Performance Certificates are required under a European directive, but don’t actually need to be introduced until January 2009 subject to justification.”