RICS launches pioneering new standard on retrofitting practices across the UK

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), has launched a new Residential Retrofit Standard following an extensive eight week-long consultation period.

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…it is critical that advice is given by a highly qualified professional…

RICS writes:

This new standard has been developed by a team of experts as a response to a demand for high quality, residential retrofit advice, spurred on by increasingly high energy prices and UK government net-zero targets, and will provide a framework within which RICS members can advise their customers on retrofit options in homes across the UK, in turn supporting the nationwide effort to decarbonise the residential property sector.

The standard also ensures that consumers receive advice from skilled, regulated professionals and ultimately protects the public interest by upholding high standards in a growing market. It is intended to be applied and understood across the UK residential sector and is the only one of it’s kind designed to support surveyors and provide assurance to both consumers and lenders.

A series of extra questions were included in the RICS Residential Property Monitor in January, to gauge the impact of energy efficient properties on market trends, which made for some interesting and insightful responses.

When survey respondents were asked if they had seen greater interest from buyers in homes that are more energy efficient, 39% said they had noticed an increase in demand, which is an increase on the 34% when this question was asked in June 2023.

On the same basis, 43% stated that sellers were looking to attach a premium to homes that are more energy efficient (42% last time). 26% reported seeing buyers highlight poor energy efficiency as a reason for making an offer below asking price (23% previously) and 37% said that higher energy efficient homes were holding their value in the current market.

Paul Bagust, RICS Head of Property Practice, commented: “As homeowners increasingly look to explore ways to retrofit their homes to improve energy performance, it is critical that advice is given by a highly qualified professional.

?“It is clear, especially from the results of the extra questions added to our monthly residential survey,  that there is a market need for a standard that facilitates quality, reliability and consistency, and the RICS Retrofit Standard does just that.

“This fully comprehensive standard will be rigorously upheld by RICS and has been designed to be used and understood by a broad range of professionals in the industry. We are asking for the recommendations in the standard to be implemented by the 31st October 2024”.

The launch of the standard contributes to RICS goal to continue to lead and influence on sustainability. RICS is also advocating for policy reform to accelerate decarbonisation of the built environment and is spearheading a whole life approach to measuring and monitoring carbon emissions in the sector.

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