The growing demand for homes that use less energy
If you’ve ever purchased a property, you’ve undoubtedly made a list of essential characteristics. A garden and off-road parking are typical necessities for many people. But, an additional, albeit less appealing, criteria is also making its way into people’s lists: energy efficiency.
Pressures on energy prices
Living expenses are still out of control. And not only people with low or middling incomes are impacted. Over a third (35%) of their clients, according to property experts including estate agents in Notting Hill, feel that rising energy prices will prompt them to purchase a home that is more energy-efficient in the future. Gas and electricity prices increased by 129% and 65%, respectively, in 2022. And this has put financial strain on the accounts of millions of people. Heating your home can’t be reduced as simply as dining out or shopping for new clothing. Turning off the heat can be risky in the cold and is an essential expense. There are a lot of prospective homeowners looking for low-cost, energy-efficient homes.
Regrettably, out of all industrialised nations, the UK has some of the least energy-efficient housing and it is affecting the value of your property. This is caused by a number of elements, such as the presence of a sizable fraction of older homes, years of low energy prices, and a dearth of alluring upgrade incentives. Since energy prices are rising, energy-efficient homes are not only attractive, but also hard to come by.
How an energy-efficient home can be beneficial
The energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of a house indicates how energy-efficient it is. From A to G, with A being the most energy efficient, it is rated. The majority of dwellings (67%) in England have an EPC rating of D, which is in the bottom half of the range.
A house with a higher EPC rating is more likely to contain the following features:
- Wall insulation in a cavity
- Insulation for floors
- Insulating a roof and a loft
- Windows with double glazing
- Contemporary LED light bulbs for gas boilers
Moreover, a house with the greatest EPC rating may also contain solar panels or a heat pump to produce heat more cheaply. Since it does a better job of retaining the heat inside, a well-insulated home can be much less expensive to heat. In fact, a recent study we conducted revealed that a bungalow in Edinburgh could save £1,672 annually by boosting its energy efficiency. Also, it would add £16,720 to the property’s value and 4.63 tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere.
Future energy-efficient housing
The demand for energy-efficient homes is expected to rise as long as energy prices stay high. Yet because there are so many houses with insufficient insulation, energy-efficient houses are probably going to cost more. Fortunately, today’s new homes are constructed to significantly greater energy-efficiency standards than those of the past. 87% of newly constructed homes were given an EPC grade of A or B in the final three months of 2022. This should contribute to meeting some of the demand for energy-efficient housing, but not all of it.
Energy costs can be considerably decreased by spending money on energy-saving features like better insulation, double-glazed windows, and renewable energy systems (and increase the overall value of a property and reduce carbon emissions). More work must be done, though, in order to take advantage of the chance to increase the efficiency of millions of UK households.
Thousands more houses should benefit from the government’s ECO4 and ECO+ programmes to increase their energy efficiency, but there is much more that the UK government could be doing, such as
- More money should be allocated for energy efficiency measures.
- Establish a centralised grants database.
- Stamp taxes are reduced for energy-efficient properties.
- Provide specialised assistance to households that are older
Upgrading insulation and incorporating green energy generation into existing homes should become a top priority for anyone trying to sell, as more people desire to live in energy-efficient homes.