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More house sellers come into Hips scheme

Government says energy savings can be made


Home Information Packs (Hips) will be required when selling three bedroom homes from today.

Hips have applied to the selling of four bedroom homes for the last six weeks and new information shows that the average house is getting an ‘E’ energy rating on the A-G scale.

The packs include Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)  which give out information on how to cut carbon emissions and reduce fuel bills.

If homeowners undertook the measures recommended in the certificates, such as loft and cavity wall insulation, the government says the rating could potentially rise to a ‘C’.

Top five energy savings

The early findings come from a snapshot survey of energy assessors and EPCs provided since the launch of Hips which calculates the average savings on bills could be £270.

The top five recommendations given by assessors for improving energy efficiency have been: cavity wall insulation, changing to low energy lighting, putting thermostatic valves on radiators, loft insulation and double glazing.

The government says the introduction of Hips is already starting to reduce costs and transparency in the housing market. More than 85 local authorities have reduced their search costs, in some cases by more than £100.

The average pack is taking about five days to compile, with major estate agents charging in the region of £300 plus VAT for a Hip, on an upfront or deferred basis – £200 to £250 of which is already paid under the current system.

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