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An assessment of the potential returns of energy certificates for the UK household sector

C. McGilligan (Environmental Building Group, School of Engineering, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK)
P. de Wilde (Environmental Building Group, School of Engineering, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK)
S. Goodhew (School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK)

Journal of Financial Management of Property and Construction

ISSN: 1366-4387

Article publication date: 25 July 2008

Abstract

Purpose

This article seeks to investigate the interconnections between the expectations of the impact of energy certificates issued within the UK domestic building sector through the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) and the actual number and financial implications of the energy saving measures (ESMs) achieved.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology uses two previously published surveys and compares these with a third independent survey by the authors focusing upon the discrepancies between planned action and implemented action, introducing the term human factor element (hfe).

Findings

The article concludes that annual carbon savings arising from implementation of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) may be as low as 73.4 ktC over the five year term of the Kyoto Protocol even though 44 per cent of energy saving measure costs of £200 million are recouped within the same time period and savings will continue for up to 40 years. Achieving annual savings of only 14.7 ktC by 2010, such a figure represents a mere 0.3 per cent of the annual domestic 4.8 MtC savings announced by the government in its 2006 Climate Change Programme.

Practical implications

Since the principal determinant in the uptake of ESMs is initial cost, it is considered that the EPBD is likely to remain an under‐performing instrument in the promotion of energy sufficiency until such time as other complementary provisions are introduced.

Originality/value

Sheds light upon the likely financial impact upon energy efficiency in domestic buildings by energy certificates.

Keywords

Citation

McGilligan, C., de Wilde, P. and Goodhew, S. (2008), "An assessment of the potential returns of energy certificates for the UK household sector", Journal of Financial Management of Property and Construction, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 187-199. https://doi.org/10.1108/13664380810913421

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited