Inbuilt's Strong accuses government of dithering on Green Homes Service remedy

A top green consultant has hit out at the government of hiding behind data protection issues rather than putting domestic and non-domesetic Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) to good use.

“The valuable information should already be in the public domain,” said Dr David Strong, head of sustainability firm, Inbuilt.

The comments come as the Department for Communities and Local Government closes a consultation on freeing up data from the energy assessments. It wants to give government agencies, such as Carbon Trust and the new Green Homes Service, access to figures about individual buildings' energy performance. The Service will then be able to accurately target those residents of those homes with the worst energy efficiency ratings, F or G, pointing them towards help available in their area.

Strong said this information-sharing was way overdue. “It’s extraordinary that one can go to the Land Registry and find out what one’s neighbour has paid for their house, but not discover its energy efficiency,” he said “Initially the government has been hiding behind data performance issues. But if we want to improve energy efficiency of buildings over time, this is vital.”

The government is also consulting on whether information about whether or not a building has an EPC should be searchable. This would, it hopes, ‘help compliance for landlords and help promote the aim of the Directive, which is to ensure that potential purchasers and tenants can factor energy efficiency into the decision making process.”

Strong said that the only opposition to the measures might come because of fears owners of inefficient properties might be showered with leaflets on new boilers and insulation. “But I have to ask whether that would be too bad a thing.”

The consultation on next steps for EPCs and the Green Homes Service can be responsed to until COB today and found here. Domestic EPCs are a core component of the controversial HIPS packs.