New research shows that despite media attention and new government policies, better energy efficiency is not a key issue for the large majority of buyers.
A study by NatWest and IHS Markit, based on responses from 4,500 people across the UK in the third quarter of 2021, found that only a small percentage of homebuyers considered EPC rating a ‘very important’ factor if purchasing a home in the next 10 years; it was the fourth lowest among the 12 factors surveyed.
Only 15 per cent of households said that having an EPC rating of C or above was essential when selecting a property.
The EPC rating ranked below other environmental factors, such as air quality, amount of local green space and levels of noise pollution.
Out of all the environmental factors listed, risk of flooding was considered by far the most important, even beating internet speed for importance.
And although 52 per cent of homeowners have plans for green home improvements over the next decade - this is only if they are cost effective.
Just one-in-seven homeowners are ‘very confident’ of being able to replace their gas boiler with a more sustainable alternative at an estimated cost of £5,000. Some 57 per cent were either ‘not very’ or ‘not at all confident’.
Lloyd Cochrane, head of mortgages at NatWest, says: “With COP 26 fast approaching, the tracker shows that there is a noticeable proportion of homeowners who firstly don’t consider an EPC rating or energy efficiency as important and secondly, have no plans to make improvements in the next decade..
“… There is much more we all need to do across industry and government to raise consumer awareness, provide relevant information and appropriate support. The switch to greener lives and homes should be accessible to all – not just those who can afford it."