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EPC changes cannot be ‘one size fits all’ - trade body

Propertymark is reiterating its view that energy efficiency and EPC changes being considered by government must take account of property age - and therefore cannot follow a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

“We have long said that the age of a property as well as its condition and size will influence the cost of improving energy performance and therefore, they each play an important role in policy formation and how realistic the UK government’s ambitions are for reducing the carbon emissions of the country's homes” explains Timothy Douglas, campaigns and policy manager at Propertymark.

The trade body’s comments follow a survey by the Office for National Statistics which shows that three fifths of assessed homes in England and Wales have low energy efficiency ratings, but most people are not considering making any improvements.

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The ONS says the age of a property is the most significant factor associated with energy efficiency, ahead of fuel type and property type.

Homes built in 2012 or later in England and Wales are much more likely to have one of the top three energy efficiency ratings than older homes.

Almost all homes built since 2012 in England and Wales have a high energy efficiency rating, compared with just 12 per cent of assessed homes built before 1900 in England, and eight per cent of homes built before 1900 in Wales.

The age of a dwelling affects the energy efficiency as building techniques and regulations have changed over time, alongside wear and tear.

Overall, fewer than half of assessed homes in both England (42 per cent) and Wales (37 per cent) have an Energy Performance Certificate rating of C or higher. 

However, fewer than a fifth of people in Great Britain were considering improving their home’s energy efficiency, according to an ONS survey in the autumn.

Of those who were not considering any improvements, the most common reason for this was believing their home was already efficient enough, followed by not owning their own home and changes costing too much money.

The UK government has set a goal for fuel-poor homes in England to reach a rating of C or higher by 2030, with some exemptions. 

 

 

The ONS says: “Controlling for other factors, the age of a dwelling has the biggest impact on its energy efficiency, with newer homes much more likely than older homes to have an EPC rating of C or above.

“To understand the biggest influences on a home’s energy efficiency, we have used a logistic regression model to assess the impact of different characteristics in isolation (or controlling for other variables). The data used in this analysis only covers homes for which an EPC exists, and therefore doesn't reflect the entire housing stock.

“Newer homes are the most likely to be energy efficient. Almost all dwellings in England and Wales built since 2012 have an EPC rating of C or above, and as such the odds of a house of this age having a high rating are extremely high compared with houses built earlier.

“Homes built before 1900 were the least likely to have a high efficiency rating.”

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