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The UK’s climate and environmental risk data authority raises the bar once more with energy performance and flood resilience guidance for residential conveyancing transactions. 

We are pleased to announce the launch of a comprehensive set of new analyses for key transition risks from climate change impacts that could impact on property decisions. Now, property-specific EPC ratings, tailored guidance on energy improvement costs and, where relevant, flood mitigation costs are provided as part of the ClimateIndex™ analysis, provided automatically at no extra cost in its main residential environmental searches. 

The guidance also provides a unique comparison of the EPC rating to other comparable properties in the local area.

Transition risks can have as equal a bearing on the transaction as the more typical physical risks of flooding, subsidence and coastal erosion. New regulations or requirements will, in time, continue the drive to make properties more energy efficient to meet future net zero requirements and to become more resilient to flood risk, through a range of retrofitting measures. 

Through the ClimateIndex™ analysis, some important trends over the last ten years are emerging: 

David Kempster, Marketing Director, Groundsure said: 

While short-term changes in policy on meeting Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) have been proposed by the present Government, property decisions and climate change impacts will last longer than most political decisions ahead of an election. We can clearly see from our own analysis that buyers and owners are no fools, have been voting with their feet and making investment in energy efficiency improvements

However, much more needs to be done to support these improvements in less affluent areas of the country to ensure that everyone can unlock energy cost savings at a time when it is needed for the more marginalised.

This new ClimateIndex™ Transition Risk analysis provides a key role in further supporting conveyancers with their duty of care to guide their client to make sound, long-term financial investment decisions. We have to collectively raise the quality of our residential properties’ energy performance and buyers need to know where they stand on being part of our collective journey to net zero that also works for them financially.”

Dan Montagnani, CEO of Groundsure said: 

We led the market with the release of ClimateIndex™ just over a year ago as the only fully inclusive climate analysis in environmental search reports. We see no distinction between due diligence on past/current or future environmental risk driven by climate change. With the publication of the Law Society Guidance earlier in the year, the market has responded and we have since seen a clear adoption of ClimateIndex™ by conveyancers and real estate lawyers in the majority of property transactions. 

Through our training and engagement with clients, it has been clear that information has to be actionable to ensure homebuyers can make informed, sustainable decisions. This is especially the case with Transition Risks. It’s not enough to just provide an EPC rating, you need context and guidance. 

This is why, at a property specific level, we now ensure homebuyers can weigh up the rating, relative to other similar properties in the area and assess how retrofitting to reduce energy costs or improve flood resilience will make the property more attractive or unlock better insurance or mortgage rates.

More information on the ClimateIndex™ analysis module, example reports and how conveyancers can meet their duties on The Law Society Climate Risk Guidance can be found here.