Almost two-thirds (62%) of residential property professionals do not believe that Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are the most suitable method to help reduce emissions in homes, according to Countrywide Surveying Services (CSS).

However, 38% still consider them to be the most suitable method currently available.

The responses came from CSS’ regular webinar series, which included a panel discussion centred around EPCs, recent government updates and insights into property values. .

The panel included representatives from major lenders, in addition to Ben Elder, international head of valuation at the RICS, Paul Broadhead, head of mortgage and housing at the BSA, and Andrew Parkin, managing director and Stuart Oakes, sales manager at Stroma Certification.

When asked whether the sector required urgent upskilling in this area, 92% said yes, with only 8% suggesting that the sector was sufficiently skilled, according to CSS.

When asked whether they considered EPCs to be reliable, 57% said sometimes, 21% rarely, 20% usually and 2% said never.

Almost three-quarters (73%) thought that EPCs were hardly ever reflected in sales prices, and 18% that they were never reflected in sales prices.

Just 8% said EPCs were regularly reflected in sales prices, but none felt they were always reflected in sale prices.

Finally, 80% suggested that consumers partially understand EPCs, 12% said they did not understand them at all, and 8% said that they had complete understanding.

Ana Bajri, head of sustainability at CSS, said: “As the regulatory landscape shifts, we are seeing a variety of lenders take greater consideration around how they approach energy efficiency and EPCs from a product and risk perspective.

“In addition, the EPC is currently undergoing improvements via the government’s EPC action plan.

“How this is reflected in the context of valuations will prove a key focal point for our industry moving forward and this data really does help outline how a range of property professionals view the performance, reliability, the relationship to sales prices and consumer understanding of EPCs.

“Every year is an important one for the environment but, when it comes to gaining a better understanding of the impact of new and existing housing stock, 2022 is a pivotal year for the sector.

“And is one in which we need to see a real progression in order to make any significant impact on the industry’s carbon footprint and environmental impact.”