This below is a press release from Manchester Friends of the Earth that is well worth your time to read! Manchester FoE has a monthly meeting on the second Tuesday of every month, at the Greenfish Resource Centre on Oldham St. They are always looking for new people to get involved. Here’s their website.
Estate and lettings agents across Greater Manchester are failing to display vital information on their adverts which could save house-hunters hundreds of pounds in energy bills, according to a study published today. 
The investigation by Manchester Friends of the Earth into online advertising by estate and lettings agents of properties in Greater Manchester found that more than half (56%) of the adverts for homes to rent on the Rightmove website did not contain information about the energy performance of the property. 
This information would show how well insulated the property is and could have a massive impact on tenants’ energy bills , their health   and their carbon emissions.
Ali Abbas, lead climate & energy campaigner at Manchester Friends of the Earth, said:
“It is essential that house-hunters get to see information on adverts about whether the home they are looking at is properly insulated – living in a cold home costs a fortune, adds to climate change and can lead to misery and ill health.
“Too many estate agents are letting us down by not including this information in their ads. The Government must close the legal loopholes which allow this to happen and councils must get tough on any found to be breaking the rules.”
The report was published by climate change campaign 10:10. Executive Director Dave Timms, who has campaigned for households to get proper information on energy, said:
“It’s vital that house-hunters get easy to understand information on ads so they know whether they are looking at a property which will leak heat, or be cosy and cost effective. Estate and lettings agents should be putting this on all their ads regardless of whether the rules require them to do so. Some are already doing just that, the rest need to catch up.”
Almost all homes are required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) when they are made available for sale or rent. These certificates show the familiar multi-coloured graph and rate homes on their energy efficiency on a scale from A (the best) to G (the worst).
The study comes one year after new government regulations were introduced requiring adverts to display energy ratings once an Energy Performance Certificate has been acquired. In December 2012, the Department for Communities and Local Government issued guidance stating that from 9 January 2013 “all advertisements in the commercial media must clearly show the property’s EPC rating, where this is available” and “where there is adequate space, the advertisement should show the A-G graph.” 
The research also looked for comparison at how energy rating were displayed in estate agents windows and in one newspaper edition. More than half (60%) of the 30 estate agent branches that were visited for the study had no energy ratings on any of the adverts in their windows. Two thirds of estate agents (8 out of 12) with adverts in a local newspaper in January had no energy ratings on any of their properties advertised.
The report names the estate and lettings agents which were most and least likely to have the energy ratings on their adverts on Rightmove, on their own websites, in their shop windows, and in newspapers.
MCFly says: Kudos to Friends of the Earth for doing all the boring leg-work that is necessary for this sort of study. Hopefully it’s something that the City Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Role of Managing Agents and Letting Agents in the Private Rented Sector Task and Finish Group might like to look into?