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Greener homes update

7th August 2023

green homes

Sustainable and green housing is becoming more important as we discuss the climate crisis, here we look at how the housing sector can help with energy improvements, greener housing, retrofitting and more.


The UK Green Building Council, states that 80% of the buildings that will be in use by the year 2050 already exist today, which highlights the vital importance of retrofitting existing homes. To meet this challenge, the government aims to bring as many homes as possible up to a minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of C by 2035.


The most recent analysis of available properties for sale on Rightmove reveals that in the past four years, there has only been a modest 6% increase in the proportion of houses that have upgraded to at least a C rating. Similarly, there has been a corresponding 6% improvement in the energy efficiency of flats for sale. It is worth noting that flats tend to be more energy-efficient than houses, likely due to their reduced number of exposed walls.


Image taken from Rightmove Greener Homes Report 


The rental market has performed further in its development, as regulation makes it illegal to let out an asset with a rating lower than an E unless there is a justifiable exception, with ideas in the works to raise that to a C. Since 2019, the percentage of homes for rent that were upgraded to at least a C has increased by 8%, while flats for rent have increased by 9%. If residences continue to improve at this rate, it will take 43 years for every one of the houses for sale on Rightmove to have an EPC rating of C or higher, and 25 years for apartments for sale.


It would require 31 years for each of the dwellings for Let on Rightmove to have an EPC grade of C, and 16 years for apartments to rent.


Image taken from Rightmove Greener Homes Report 


To assess a property’s environmental impact, we evaluated the annual CO2 emissions that a home produces, as stated in each EPC, since 2019.

Image taken from Rightmove Greener Homes Report 


The majority of the residential stock for purchase in Wales, where there are a number of larger homes in more isolated places, is the least energy effective, and the greatest amount of energy inefficient stock to rent is in Yorkshire & the Humber.

Gwynedd, Isle of Anglesey, Ceredigion, and Powys are four of the top five local authorities in Wales with the lowest average EPC score in properties for sale. 


Powys is the worst operating local authority in the UK in terms of rental market performance, followed by Ryedale. 


The Benefits of Going Green


While the majority of individuals do not consider a home’s energy efficiency when deciding where they want to live, when questioned if it is worthwhile to spend more for a more energy efficient home, only 6% objected.


According to a recent analysis of 300,000 residences that have sold two times in the last fifteen years and have received a new EPC certificate, there is a further ‘green premium’ in addition to the regional property values rising over time.


When compared to the current national average asking price, a house rising from a F to a C rating may raise its worth by an additional 15%, or about £56,000

Image taken from Rightmove Greener Homes Report 

Will homeowners want to pay to go green?

A large percentage of homeowners (83%) said they were thinking about making their residence energy-efficient.


Homeowner’s would probably be willing to pay an average of £3,445 to make their homes more energy efficient


Homeowners, unquestionably, are more likely to have previously completed minor modifications like newly installed lighting, while a great deal more effort needs to be done to persuade more people to consider making larger changes, such as installing a heat pump or solar energy systems, if appropriate for their property.


Mission Zero

While buyers may not be actively seeking out green homes, sellers who invest in eco-friendly renovations and upgrades are experiencing a positive impact on the overall value of their properties. This suggests that buyers might not prioritise green features in their search criteria but are willing to pay more for a property that has already been environmentally improved.


Education and incentives are critical for shifting demand towards greener housing. Individuals who did not previously reside in a more energy-efficient home have yet experienced the advantages. The ‘price of cosy’, or an improved insulated home, is difficult to measure until people experience how it might improve their quality of life.


Implementation on a large scale requires time, and some sectors definitely require more attention than others. Houses are far more inefficient than flats in terms of energy efficiency, and the sales market is falling below what is occurring in the renting sector.


Currently, the main challenge lies in the limited availability of suppliers and equipment, preventing the greenest alternatives from being the most affordable option for homeowners and renters. To address this issue, it becomes necessary to observe the government’s initiatives and the emergence of green funding solutions..


The era of constructing energy-inefficient homes has come to an end, and we must now focus on a future where living in such homes becomes outdated. It is crucial for people to be well-informed about the necessary steps to take, the order in which to implement changes, the reasons behind these actions, and the benefits they will bring.


If you’re a landlord looking to make your home more energy efficient, follow this green report for advice and prepare for EPC changes heading your way. The Seraph team is here to help. Contact a member of our team to talk more about how we can help make your home more energy efficient.