News27th May 08
Ulster Unionist Assembly Member for Fermanagh & South Tyrone, Tom Elliott MLA has questioned the wisdom of introducing Energy Performance Certificates which will cost homeowners additional money at a time when many people cannot get on the property ladder
NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO INTRODUCE ADDITIONAL COSTS FOR HOMEOWNERS- ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATES- ELLIOTT
Ulster Unionist Assembly Member for Fermanagh & South Tyrone, Tom Elliott MLA has questioned the wisdom of introducing Energy Performance Certificates which will cost homeowners additional money at a time when many people cannot get on the property ladder due to current financial downturn in the market place.
Tom said: I feel the decision to introduce the regulations at such short notice and an already fragile property market could be further damaged by these additional charges. Anyone selling their home from 1 July 2008 will have to pay for a special energy assessor to survey it and give a formal certificate but unfortunately the Department of finance and Personnel will not be setting the cost on certificates but allowing a private company to decide on costs. Key considerations should have been the cost of assessments and the ability of ensuring that homeowners and businesses are able to find accredited energy assessors.
The poor homeowners are already struggling to sell or buy their properties following the fall in house prices over the past year and this further outlay on top of deposits, stamp duty, solicitor’s fees and survey costs will further hinder house sales over the coming months. I understand from the end of September 2008 EPC’s will be compulsory for all new construction and all property sales and rentals will be required to have them by the end of the year. I just wonder if we have enough energy assessors to cover all parts of Northern Ireland and will the amount be set at a reasonable level. With current high energy prices for oil and heat the sensible homeowners are forced to introduce cost cutting measures, turn down thermostats, use low energy light bulbs etc. without the need of an energy assessor possibly charging £150. I realise we must tackle climate change and encourage homeowners to be energy efficient but with short timescale I fear that their potential could be severely damaged."
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