This paper explores changes in householders’ perceptions towards EPCs after being introduced to thermal images as a visual aid.
The ever increasing awareness of climate change is driving homeowners and property users to adopt essential measures when dealing with energy consumption. The Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) scheme for domestic properties in England and Wales requires homes to undergo energy surveys in order to be issued an EPC, thereby certifying their property is energy efficient. The aim of this study was to explore changes in householders’ perceptions towards EPCs after being introduced to thermal images as a visual aid. Thus the effectiveness of EPCs would be assessed.
10 houses in South East England were selected and a deep qualitative study was undertaken. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in all of the households. The collected data was thematically analysed. The perceptions of householders with regard to energy consumption changed upon the introduction of thermal images. Householders also showed keen interest in fighting ‘man-made’ climate change. However, various barriers restrain them from contributing effectively e.g. financial restrictions. Thus thermal images alone may not be enough to change individual practices. This paper highlights why the EPC scheme is not living up to expectation, and recommends that more dynamic methods of assessment need to be introduced to replace or assist EPCs.
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