Taking the job on holiday

26/Aug/2011
Alison Cutland

I don’t know about you, but over the years I have found it difficult to not end up taking the job on holiday. This becomes particularly apparent when looking back at my albums of holiday photos.

When I worked in the electricity industry I was particularly drawn to pole mounted transformers. I have a collection of photos of very dodgy transformers from across the world! A friend of mine has a similar passion but relating to water meters from her various holiday destinations and another colleague has photographs of houses in various stages of construction - and some very interesting gutters! I guess you would be quite justified in telling me (and indeed ‘us’) to get a life (or get a holiday!)

This year it happened to me yet again. Whilst having a meander around the delightful French town of St Georges de Didonne, the local estate agents window caught my eye. There were row upon row of delightful properties displayed in the window, each and every single one of them very prominently and proudly displaying the EPC. In fact the EPC was easily the most eye catching thing in the window, making up probably about 20% of the available space on the advert. I was so astounded that I took a photo.

I thought maybe this was an isolated case, but no; every French Estate Agent that I encountered displayed their properties in exactly the same way. 

In my role at NES I talk to many of our members. In the past when EPCs were first introduced I came across people who said “What about the rest of Europe, how will they comply with the EU ruling on EPCs?” or “You won’t see the French bothering with all of this”. I must admit to having had a few doubts myself.

However – the proof was there for all to see in the French Estate Agents window. How refreshing it was to see, and how encouraging that at least one of our European neighbours give priority to the energy efficiency of a property by displaying the EPC.

What would it take for a similar approach to happen in the UK? Legislation probably. I have come across a few enlightened Estate Agents who do value the EPC, but sadly not many and as yet I haven’t seen a single EPC displayed in an Estate Agent’s window. But I live in hope.

We’ve adopted many of our French neighbour’s habits over the years, we’re now a nation of wine drinkers and our choice of cheeses now incorporates many a soft, smelly French variety. Perhaps the value they give to energy efficiency and the EPC may be next? Oh, and some more of their sunny weather would be nice…

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Comments

 

Oddly enough, I have very similar photos from a weekend in Paris recently (so you're not the only one who takes work on holiday). What I found interesting was that almost none of the EPC's were better than a D with the vast majority being an E. This probably reflects the age of property in Paris, but there seemed to be no premium in price in better performing buildings and locations was still king.

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