25 May

ABTA responds to consultation on Energy Performance Certificates

ABTA has responded to a Communities and Local Government Consultation Making better use of Energy Performance Certificates and data, for short-term holiday lets, Chapters 4 & 5.

A primary concern for ABTA Members is the proposal of mandatory advertisement of EPCs, as most holiday letting businesses are small operations with limited advertising budgets.

ABTA has stated that it regards the Energy Performance Certificates [EPC] programme as an important element of the drive to encourage energy efficiency and reduced carbon emissions in the UK. Though the travel industry, like all industries in the UK, has a responsibility to embed sustainability and efficiency into the sector’s operating practices, it believes that the requirement for EPCs for short-term holiday lets would entail additional expense for members while offering little incentive for holidaymakers to reduce energy consumption.

Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive said: “Though the consultation is quite correct to point out that green tourism is indeed an attractive attribute, the short length of stay, in addition to the reality that holiday lettings are busiest during the summer months when energy usage is typically at its lowest, renders EPCs not particularly effective in promoting a letting as ‘green’. Where holiday offers are promoted as green, ABTA feels that this should be a market differentiator and not subject to blanket and costly regulation.

“ABTA is not opposed to the underpinning rationale for encouraging the widespread use of EPCs, including in holiday lets. Indeed, many of our members do make use of them on a voluntary basis; and this is a position that ABTA would like to see retained.

“The trading climate for our members has been particularly difficult in recent years. As a result, we believe that the scheme should be voluntary, not compulsory. We believe now is not a time when added compliance costs and further regulation can be easily absorbed by industry principals.”

Chapter 4 deals with EPCs for short term holiday lets.

The consultation documents are linked below. http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/planningandbuilding/pdf/1491167.pdf