The ONS used EPC data and information from Census 2021 to look at which groups in England and Wales were most likely to struggle to heat their homes ahead of the energy price cap rise which is due in January 2024.
We have consistently called for the UK Government to incentivise decarbonisation of existing properties, most recently in our Autumn Budget Representation.
Propertymark’s report Energy efficiency in UK property: Where to go from here?, published in August 2023, revealed that there is more work to be done to convince landlords and homeowners of the benefits of retrofitting and making energy efficiency improvements to their property.
Propertymark has made the following recommendations to accelerate decarbonisation:
- Avoid a ‘one size fits all’ approach: Policymakers must develop proposals that work with the different ages, conditions, and size of properties. This way grants and funding support can be targeted based on the archetype of a property rather than its tenure and make each property as energy efficient as possible.
- Provide clarity on targets: To effectively plan to retrofit homes, homeowners and landlords require clarity on how energy efficient a property needs to be, how much it will cost and when it must be done by.
- Provide financial incentives and help reduce energy bills: Investing in energy efficiency does not lead to higher house prices which would under different circumstances provide a sufficient incentive. Until this is the case, alternative incentives such as vouchers to cover the costs of retrofit evaluations, loans, and grants to pay for energy efficiency improvements are needed to reduce the burden on property owners.
EPC ratings not making an impact
In the residential market, 73% of homebuyers show at least some interest in EPCs, but their influence on purchase decisions is limited. Similarly, tenants in the rental market show some interest but not to a significant extent.
In the commercial market, the interest and influence of EPCs are much lower. 41% of Propertymark commercial member agents surveyed reported investors never show an interest in the EPC and 59% see no interest from tenants.