Danish News in Brief: Energy ratings for houses improved but still not perfect, minister says

In other stories, a heads-up for Kolding’s mermaid, arsonists strike again and pigeon droppings are costing Esbjerg Municipality millions

As a result of complaints regarding the energy rating system for houses from householders, estate agents and potential buyers, the Energistyrelsen energy agency was obliged to step in. The good news is that since then, there has been a significant improvement, but Lars Christian Lilleholt, the minister responsible, is still not entirely satisfied.

The system is based on housing being checked and rated on a system from A to G, which is supposed to indicate the energy effectiveness of the house. Random checks made by the energy agency showed that in 2017 there were errors in almost every fifth energy rating, but this is still an improvement on 2016, when there were mistakes found in almost every third rating.

“Homeowners and buyers need an energy rating they can trust, so when a random check reveals there are mistakes in every fifth rating, it is still not good enough,” said the minister.

At the minister’s initiative a number of branch organisations have been co-operating to improve the system and make it more user-friendly.

“I’m extremely happy with the level of co-operation I’ve received from the trade and it is very positive that the companies responsible for compiling the ratings have tightened up their procedures,” said Lilleholt.

The minister hopes the positive trend will continue so that “in future, we can have a system that is trustworthy, which both supports the housing market and promotes improved energy savings”.

Kolding’s mermaid a head taller again
The buxom mermaid statue luxuriating in Kolding’s Slotssøen can soon look forward to being reunited with her missing head. The statue was decapitated on Wednesday by an unknown assailant who also made off with the head. Erik Valter, the artist and sculptor who created the mermaid, made an appeal through social media and a young man responded, reports JydskeVestkysten. In order to expedite its return Valter had promised a bottle of Gammel Dansk and amnesty as a reward, but as the young man said that he didn’t drink, Valter gave him one of his figurines instead. The head and body of the mermaid are expected to be rejoined during the course of today.

Long hot summer for car owners
Once again, car owners in a number of areas around Copenhagen have been the victims of arson; during the night between Saturday and Sunday, police received reports of five cars being set alight, reports DR Nyheder. The incidents, all reported more or less within an hour, took place in Nørrebro, Hellerup and Nordvest. This is the latest in a rash of car-burnings that have been taking place over the summer. On August 3 and 4, at least five cars were set alight in Nørrebro, and on 21 and 22 August, eight cars were burned along with one attempted burning.

Pigeon guano plaguing Esbjerg football stadium
A large colony of pigeons has moved into Blue Water Arena, the home ground of Esbjerg fB football club, and their acidic droppings are wreaking havoc with the concrete and steel construction, according to JydskeVestkysten. The Esbjerg Municipality-owned stadium has already had 4.7 million kroner spent on it for renovation, but that is not enough. As well as the pigeons, there is also a problem with rough weather and defective paint. It seems as if a dispensation to allow the pigeons to be shot may be the only effective answer, as spikes put up to deter the birds from perching and nesting have not had any noticeable effect.

Passengers and crew rescued from capsized vessel
Eleven Danes were rescued on Saturday evening by the Dutch coastguard after their sailing boat capsized in high winds. The passengers were on a life-raft 10 km from the coast when they were picked up, DR Nyheder reports. All on board were reported safe and sound, but the boat sank. The Svartlöga, formerly a Swedish minesweeper launched in 1964, was based in Aarhus Træskibshavn and was on its way from Den Helder in the Netherlands to Zeebrügge in Belgium when it encountered heavy weather.