Millions of home owners face vital seven years
2028 may seem a long way off, but the next seven years will be vital for 19 million homes in the UK.
That’s because an influential committee has recommended that all homes for sale or seeking new tenancies should have an Energy Performance Certificate rating of at least C by then.
The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a scheme which bands properties between A and G with A the most efficient and G the least.
Of the 29 million homes in Britain only 10 million have a rating of C or higher and in the private rental sector just 32.6 per cent of homes have energy ratings of A to C.
“If this recommendation becomes law, then almost two thirds of owners may find themselves proprietors of unsaleable and unlettable properties unless they act by 2028, and by 2033 for those with mortgages,” said Midlands green energy expert Ron Fox.
The Climate Change Committee, which is advising the government on how to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, said that improving the energy efficiency of homes is key to hitting this target as buildings are the second largest source of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions.
“To improve a property’s EPC rating, an owner will need ensure there is adequate loft, underfloor or cavity wall insulation, upgrade to double or triple glazed windows and better draught proofing and hot water tank insulation,” said Ron.
To show how huge the problem is the committee’s report recommended that:
- 700,000 lofts will need to be insulated each year by 2025 – in the past year only 27,000 lofts were insulated.
- 200,000 cavity wall insulations should be completed annually by 2025 –in the last 12 months only 41,000 cavity walls were insulated.
- 250,000 solid wall insulations should be achieved each year by 2025 –only 11,000 were carried out in the past year.
While the committee does not estimate the cost for all the UK’s housing stock to achieve an EPC of C grade, the estate agents Savills says it could be around £304 billion for just England and Wales.
“There will be problems for home owners and landlords paying for these improvements as well as disruptions for tenants while this work is done,” said Ron, of Noreus Ltd on the University of Keele Science and Innovation Park.
“But the benefits in the long term will be cheaper energy bills, boosting the value of the home as well as addressing the climate emergency.
“However, the costs in the short term are huge and I believe these targets will be unrealistic without considerable government subsidies.
“My advice is to plan ahead now and not leave these improvements until near 2028, particularly as owners and landlords can take advantage of the government’s Green Homes Grant recently extended to March 2022.
“This allows home owners in England to claim back two thirds of the costs, up to £5,000, towards home improvements which boost energy performance certificate ratings.”
For more details about green energy and how to improve your EPC rating, call Ron on 0845 474 6641.
Caption: An example of an Energy Performance Certificate.