22/05/2008

Home Energy Certificates Planned For Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland homebuyers will have to pay for a special energy assessor to indicate whether their home is 'energy efficient' under new plans which come into effect from the end of June.

However, there's as yet no indication of actual costs for the Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) - which are already in place in England and Wales - which will impact on all new construction projects from October and all rentals by the end of the year.

The plans were unveiled today during a seminar held in Ballymena for the local building and property profession, sponsored by the Department of Finance & Personnel (DFP).

Dr Philip Irwin, DFP's Head of Properties Division, said: "These certificates will depict an energy rating for the building - similar to the colour coded ratings on electrical appliances. Seeing the building's energy efficiency depicted clearly should encourage all of us to improve the energy efficiency of the buildings we live and work in."

Dr Irwin described the benefits as "twofold" saying that the improvements would "help reduce Northern Ireland’s carbon footprint".

"With the recent fuel cost increases, buildings that are more energy efficient will also be more attractive to prospective owners," he added.

Later this month and throughout June, the Department of Finance & Personnel will host a series of public seminars around the Province to provide more information on the certificates and requirements of the Regulations.

(JM)

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