At Home

1.7 million homes trapped with poor energy efficiency

Property Reporter
3rd June 2021
energy efficiency 2

By 2035 in England and Wales, the government aims to have as many homes as possible reach an energy efficiency rating of C with an earlier target of 2030 for private rented homes.

However, the latest analysis of over 15 million homes across England & Wales by Rightmove has found that just under 1.7 million do not have the potential to improve higher than an EPC rating of between D and G.

Ahead of World Environment Day, new data has highlighted that across England and Wales, 59% of homes have a D, E, F or G rating and there is the potential for this to be reduced to 11% of homes if recommended improvements were made.

Crawley has the potential to drop to the lowest proportion of homes with a rating of D or below if improvements were made, which would reduce the proportion from 47% to just 5%.

In Gwynedd in Wales, there are 77.4% of homes with a rating of D or below, and this could only improve to 21.7% if recommended improvements were made.

Second highest is Castle Point in Essex where 77.2% are rated D or below but it has a better chance of more homes being improved, with 13% of homes unable to reach a C rating.

Tower Hamlets (27.4%), Hackney (39.2%) and Southwark (41.7%) are the top performers for the lowest proportion of properties with a current rating of D or below.

The study found that there are estimated to be a further 11 million homes in England and Wales that do not yet have an Energy Performance Certificate rating, likely as they haven’t been sold or let out since the certificates were introduced.

Using the recommendations and national average costs on the government’s EPC website, Rightmove has outlined below five of the most cost-effective improvements that homeowners could make to boost the energy efficiency of their home.

The most common improvement that is recommended in EPCs is to install solar panels, although these will cost thousands of pounds. The second most common recommendation, mentioned in over five million EPCs, is to switch to use low energy lighting. This is one of the cheapest ways that can help improve energy efficiency.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Data, says: “It’s encouraging to see that there are some energy efficiency improvements that can cost less than £100, so it’s definitely worth checking your EPC if your home has one to see if there are small changes you could make to try and improve your rating.

"The bigger challenge is for those homes with much lower ratings that will cost a substantial amount of money to improve. There are a number of homeowners who don’t feel an urgent need to make changes now unless it makes a big difference to the cost of their household bills or if it’s going to make their home more attractive to a potential buyer if they’re planning to sell.

"It’s early days with some lenders now starting to introduce green mortgages as incentives, but homeowners need to be better informed that how green your home is will become increasingly important as we aim to move towards a net-zero society, and they need more help to understand why making improvements are so important for the long term.”

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