Energy Efficiency Becoming a Priority for Both Buyers and Tenants

5th January 2023

Energy Efficiency Becoming a Priority for Both Buyers and Tenants
At Easymove we try to keep you up-to-date with all the big issues in the housing market. For some time now, we have been getting increasingly concerned about our homes impact on the environment and our need to reduce it. The war in Ukraine and the subsequent rocketing of our energy bills have supercharged the issue and it is no surprise to find, as a result, both buyers and renters alike are now prioritising energy efficiency in their search for somewhere new to live. It has even reached the point where, according to research by Housebuilder Redrow, more time was spent during the world cup discussing the cost-of living and being eco-friendly than the football!
It's data, though, from British Gas that paints the clearest picture of the benefits of living somewhere energy efficient. The average home in the UK has an EPC (energy performance certificate) rating of D and that is because most of the country’s housing stock is old (70% was built before 1980) and poorly insulated. Newbuilds, in contrast, are an excellent example of energy efficient homes, with the vast majority having an EPC rating of B. If you compare the two together, the average new build uses less than half the energy (9094 kWh) of an older property (21621 kWh per year). And you can see what that means in monetary terms in the table below:

               New Build          Average Home        Difference
Houses      £1,539.17            £4,169.97             £2,630.80
Flats          £1,237.82             £2,438.94             £1,201.12
Bungalows £1,734.67            £3,564.08             £1,829.41
Maisonettes £1,510.18           £3,074.42            £1,564.24
It is not all about cost. If the 13.8 million homes currently with the average EPC rating of D or lower were brought up to the same efficiency levels as new builds, there would be a carbon emissions saving of over 31 million tonnes.

More research, this time by, shows just how much of a priority it has become. They found as many as 25% of the UK’s homeowners are planning on selling their property in order to move to a more energy efficient one. They also discovered buyers are prepared to pay a 15% premium for a property with a rating of C or above. 1 in 20 even went as far as to say they would pay as much as another 50%. The issue also has had a clear impact on the desirability of older, ‘character’ homes, too, with 40% saying they would avoid them, as they were concerned about the cost of bringing them up to standard. So, what exactly are buyers and renters looking for? The top 10 green features are:

Loft insulation (54%)
Newly fitted double/triple glazed windows (47%)
A newly fitted boiler (45%)
Cavity wall insulation (45%)
Newly fitted double/triple glazed doors (43%)
Draught proofing (40%)
Energy-efficient light bulbs (39%)
Solar panels (35%)
A recently renewed EPC rating of C or above (33%)
Dual flush toilet (32%)
If you’ve got a home to rent or sell, especially an older one, and you want to maximise its potential value, it is well worth considering making some efficiency improvements before putting it on the market.