Energy efficiency improvements for older homes

🕑 4 minute read

As charming as a period property or older home can be, they often cost more to heat than a new build.

As energy prices rise that can be a worry – we’re all expecting to spend more on gas and electricity in our homes this year. So, it’s a good idea to see where you could reduce your household energy bills.

Do you know how energy efficient your home is?

The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating is a scale that shows how energy efficient your home is, from A to G. The top rating is A and the lowest is G.

Most houses built in the last ten years are rated B or higher. The average rating for all homes in England and Wales is D. And for the 4.2 million homes built before 1900, the average EPC rating is only E.

Source: Property age and energy rating data are taken from ONS Energy Efficiency figures for England and Wales. February 2022.

What affects EPC rating in older homes

  • Damp due to poor ventilation and lack of damp-proofing.
  • Often there is little or no insulation in floors, walls and ceilings.
  • Single glazed windows are inefficient in retaining heat.
  • Open fireplaces can create draughts.

Source: Heat loss - Designing Buildings, February 2022.

Most of our homes fall short of the average EPC rating of C, apart from flats which usually achieve a rating of C or above. Around 15 million or 60% of homes in the UK need energy efficiency improvements to meet a minimum EPC rating of C.

On average moving up one EPC rating band could save around £250 per year. Homes with the highest EPC rating A can be worth up to £40,000 more compared to the lowest G rating. This is sometimes called the Green Home Premium.

How to make energy efficient improvements

Cost savings estimated on a 4 bedroom detached house located in the North of England with a South East facing garden and budget of £10,000.

Improvement

Average cost

Annual saving

Improvement

Low energy bulbs

Average cost

£24

Annual saving

£42

Improvement

Loft insulation

Average cost

£289

Annual saving

£78

Improvement

Boiler and controls

Average cost

£3,599

Annual saving

£484

Improvement

Draft exclusion

Average cost

£37

Annual saving

£4

Improvement

Solar panel

Average cost

£4,788

Annual saving

£114

Improvement

Total

Average cost

£8,737

Annual saving

£721

Renewables income

£98

House value increase

+£18,960

CO2 reduction

4.2 tonnes

EPC rating change

F to C

This example was calculated using the Halifax Energy Savings Tool.

Value added to a property based on EPC upgrades

Source: All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. The total sample size was 4,364 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 3rd – 5th August 2021. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK Adults who either own or rent a property.

  • Changing your EPC rating from G to F could lead to an average price increase of £9,954 or 3.8%.

    Changing your EPC rating from F to E could lead to an average price increase of £7,584 or 2.9%.

    Changing your EPC rating from E to D could lead to an average price increase of £6,162 or 2.4%.

    Changing your EPC rating from D to C could lead to an average price increase of £5,214 or 2.0%.

    Changing your EPC rating from C to B could lead to an average price increase of £5,214 or 2.0%.

    Changing your EPC rating from B to A could lead to an average price increase of £4,740 or 1.8%.

Extra support for you

Check your EPC rating on the government website.

Use our Home Energy Saving tool to see which improvements you could make and create an action plan.

Rising energy prices make keeping an eye on ways to keep your home cosier and greener more important than ever.
 

Looking to move?

Take a look at our helpful advice before you plan that next move.

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Green living

Find out more about Green Home government schemes, how to fund energy efficient home improvements, and tips on how to make your home more sustainable.

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