14 April 2010

At least 10% of new homes fail energy efficiency test

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Official figures show a high number of new homes don't comply with legal standards to cut carbon emissions and utility bills

At least one in 10 new homes in Britain do not meet legal requirements for energy efficiency, condemning tens of thousands of householders to higher energy bills, and exacerbating climate change.

The government has identified improving households' energy efficiency as the best way to reduce carbon emissions at the same time as keeping a lid on rising utility bills.

Since April 2008, all new homes have had to meet tough standards on draught proofing, lighting and heating. All homes require an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) indicating how they rate. But at least 30,000 of the 300,000 homes built since then do not meet these legal standards, according to official figures just released.

Andrew Warren, director of the Association for the Conservation of Energy, said: "Buying a home is the biggest single purchase people will make in their lives. With energy costs mounting – never mind the environmental issues – it's perfectly respectable to expect that buildings meet the minimum legal standards for energy efficiency."

A spokeswoman for the Department of Communities and Local Government (CLG) said she was not aware of any builders or companies being prosecuted for failure to comply with new standards. Local authorities are in charge of compliance.

(The Guardian)

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