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Energy efficiency remains important to homebuyers and sellers

Buyers and sellers are still factoring energy efficiency into property valuations despite Prime Minister Rishi Sunak rolling back net-zero reforms.

Analysis by the Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB) shows of people looking to buy in the next 24 months, three quarters see a home with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of an A or B as more attractive than less energy efficiency properties.

Meanwhile, analysis from energy efficiency platform Snugg found three quarters of homeowners likely to sell property in the next 12 months would consider energy efficiency changes to increase its value.


The MAB research shows that half of prospective buyers are considering a home with a higher EPC rating to reduce overall utility bills, with 36% looking to keep warmer in winter for less. 
Around a third are considering a higher EPC rated property to potentially reduce their mortgage repayments through green mortgages. 

Meanwhile, 33% are already thinking about their next step in terms of buying a higher rated property, as this could add value when it comes time to move.

Ben Thompson, deputy chief executive at Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: “Energy efficiency is climbing up prospective buyers’ wish lists, as they balance property price with future running costs. 

“The high energy costs we’ve experienced in the UK over the past couple of years have hit many people’s finances, stretching budgets to the limit. As a result, any means to cut back on spending, particularly on energy bills, has become a bigger priority for prospective homebuyers.

““As our findings show, mortgage payments are also a central concern to prospective homebuyers. However, the good news is that opting for a higher EPC rated property could make you more likely to be entitled to a green mortgage scheme. These plans reward homeowners for buying or owning an energy efficient home - for example, with potentially lower interest rates on mortgage payments, or incentives such as cashback. If this is something you are interested in, it’s essential to speak to a mortgage adviser, who will be able to establish whether a green mortgage would suit your needs.”

While there is appetite for home changes, there is mass confusion around what is actually available in terms of energy efficiency upgrades, Snugg warned.

Almost two-thirds of likely sellers have previously researched Government grants for home heating improvements but were confused about their eligibility, and a similar figure say they just don’t know how to make their home more energy efficient. 

Another 65% assume they are not eligible for Government grants, with a similar figure falsely believing grants for home heating improvements are only available for people with low incomes.

Almost seven-in-10 likely sellers say they would never make energy improvements to their home without a Government grant, and believe that the Government should cover the cost of replacing gas boilers with heat pumps.

Robin Peters, chief executive of Snugg, said: “Sellers’ lack of access to available information on home energy efficiency changes risks slowing an already spluttering property market - with home energy efficiency improvements known to increase value by up to £15,000. At the same time, homes in the UK rank amongst the worst in Europe for energy efficiency – responsible for more than a fifth of the UK’s CO2 emissions.

“It’s little wonder people are confused when current grant schemes are uncoordinated and the government’s ever-shifting position on net zero provides little certainty or clarity to homeowners. It’s vital that we ensure everyone has access to the knowledge needed for simple and affordable home changes that can both help boost the property market and accelerate our transition to net zero.”

  • Paul Pittman

    The concern is as a seller who has invested in technology such as air source heat pumps, in our experience have been penalised on their EPC, as it has little effect or a negative effect on their EPC.
    Might be a business opportunity offering a consultancy to potential sellers on how to improve their rating before a new EPC is completed, there are some quick wins that can be made normally. #hydrogardlegalservices


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