Coalition agreement shows scrapping of HIPS but continued commitment to EPCs and feed-in tariffs

The coalition government has said it will scrap Home Information Packs (HIPS) but retain energy performance certificates and continue plans for an electricity feed-in tariff system as part of its vision for a low-carbon economy.

HIPS were brought in to speed up the transaction process by giving buyers more upfront information but were opposed by the property and building industry, which blamed the packs for deterring sellers and leading to extra costs.

Other environmental policies in the coalition agreement published today, included:

  • The establishment of a smart grid and the roll-out of smart meters.
  • Maintenance of Renewable Obligation Certificates (issued to power companies who for the renewable electricity they generate)
  • Measures to promote a huge increase in energy from waste through anaerobic digestion.
  • The provision of home energy improvement paid for by the savings from lower energy bills.
  • The establishment of an emissions performance standard that will prevent coal-fired power stations being built unless they are equipped with sufficient CCS to meet the emissions performance standard.
  • Public sector investment in CCS technology for four coal-fired power stations; and a specific commitment to reduce central government carbon emissions by 10 per cent within 12 months.

On nuclear power the agreement states: “We have agreed a process that will allow Liberal Democrats to maintain their opposition to nuclear power while permitting the government to bring forward the national planning statement for ratification by Parliament so that new nuclear construction becomes possible."

This will mean that Lib Dem MPs will abstain from voting on the national planning statement when it goes before parliament.