The Liberal Democrat members of the new coalition Government in particular should remember what happened in Redcar as a direct result of Corus job losses. The impact of scrapping the HIP industry means far more job losses throughout England and Wales as a whole.
What really angers everyone affected by this announcement is that they all trained in the first place as a direct result of a prolonged recruitment campaign by the previous Government. Allegedly over 20,000 British taxpayers trained at their own expense, as home inspectors, Energy assessors or HIP providers. With all of them now facing bleak and uncertain futures how can the new Government possibly call their actions fair.
If Eric Pickles and Grant Shapps had truly wanted to stimulate the housing market then surely they should have focused their immediate attentions on the lenders? The British public have been very vocal with their disproval of the handling of the banking crisis, but the reality today is that the gap between the Bank of England base rate and the lenders standard variable mortgage rate is greater than ever before. To add insult to injury, typical mortgage arrangement fees now range anywhere from £999 to several thousand pounds. To put this into context a typical HIP including an Energy Performance Certificate, cost no more than £250.
Life after HIPs
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) were introduced to the UK as part of an EU directive. The spirit of that directive was that every property in the country should have one. IDEA had therefore argued with the previous Government that incorporating them into HIPs was not the best way to achieve that objective. Sadly, the EPC had been tarnished with all the negative press that the HIP had received. Whilst it is by no means prefect, the EPC software provides a useful platform to build upon to increase public awareness and greater understanding of both energy efficiencies and carbon reductions measures that can be achieved within properties.
IDEA welcomes the opportunity to work with the new Government in promoting the EPC in a positive manner as a valuable tool in assisting the public in reducing their fuel bills by making their homes more energy efficient and in doing so reducing their carbon footprint too. Whilst we are keen to work with the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC), the Department of Communities & Local Government (CLG) and the Energy Savings Trust (EST) to achieve this aim; we would call for an immediate halt to the ESTs Home Energy Report initiative as we feel it is not making the best use of available resources.
If such an initiative is to be carried out on every property nationwide IDEA feels strongly that it must include an EPC the present scheme does not. IDEA is keen to work with Government and share our thoughts and analysis of how this could be done in a more cost efficient manner, using some of the existing carbon reduction scheme initiatives and most importantly of all; utilising the skilled energy assessor workforce who are readily available to execute this task.
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