July 19, 2024

Latest EPC data reveals energy efficiency has improved in homes, but A-rated buildings still only account for 0.6% of domestic ratings

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Renewable energy, decarbonisation, and thermal efficiency are all buzzwords that homeowners, tenants, builders, and property experts are well used to hearing at the moment. Even more so with the current energy and cost of living crises making us all hyper-sensitive to usage and performance. 

But how far has the UK really come in terms of our homes and their standards of energy efficiency? By data-crunching over ten year’s worth of EPC rating records of domestic homes – of which there are 16.6 million recorded! – in its latest study, renewable heat experts at Abode can reveal the progress made across the UK, and reveal which regions have the most energy efficient homes too.

The study revealed that there has been a significant improvement in the overall scores of the 16.6 million EPCs recorded in the last decade. In 2013, there were 2,297 domestic buildings, or homes, in England and Wales achieving the highest A rating for their energy performance. Fast forward a decade later, and there were 10,353 in 2022 with a highest A rating; a significant 350% increase and a huge milestone for the property industry with its improved approach to energy efficiency and the environment. However, the concern for the property market is that A ratings currently only account for 0.6% of all domestic building ratings.

Ben Hodges, Director at Abode Heat comments: “It’s great to see this energy efficiency improvement on a domestic scale. 2022 itself was a record year for homes receiving an A rating on the EPC register, with a 74.7% increase from 2021 to 2022 figures. Whilst this is great for the environment, the UK’s net zero targets, and the buildings’ performance, it is worth noting that there is still a way to go as most buildings are receiving a C rating, with 39.4% of the 1.76 million rated domestic properties in 2022 scoring C.

“The EPC register tracks ratings of buildings, but these are only required when sold, rented or built, so it’s unlikely to be a truly accurate representation of the UK domestic building stock as a whole right now for energy efficiency. What it does indicate though is a steady increase year-on-year on homes receiving higher ratings, which is extremely positive for the building industry. There has been a notable 48% decrease in the amount of G-rated domestic homes in the last decade (since 2013), to highlight this too.”

2022 energy efficiency scores 

Energy Performance Certificates are important for UK homes to measure efficiency and ensure they are meeting current standards and regulations. For domestic buildings in the study, here is how they fare with the latest data from the last 12 months:

Rating No. of buildings with the rating % of overall domestic buildings
A 10,353 0.6%
B 270,959 15.4%
C 694,775 39.4%
D 585,956 33.3%
E 157,789 8.9%
F 30,960 1.8%
G 10,464 0.6%

 

“There are many measures homeowners, developers and builders can take to improve energy efficiency ratings. Committing to upgrades or installation of best possible products like double-glazing, and renewable energy sources like heat pumps or solar power are good practices. We’ve experienced an excess of 100% increase year-on-year in heat pump sales over the last four years, as more customers are seeking energy or heat solutions that are better for the environment. We only expect this to increase as gas boilers are no longer installed in new builds from 2025, and UK regulations and government focus on carbon reduction and net-zero goals become a greater focus,” says Ben Hodges.

Where in England has the most energy efficient homes?

The EPC ratings also record a regional breakdown, and when analysing the data, Abode Heat looked into the total number of A-G ratings in homes since 2008. Here is how each region in England fared and who had the highest number of A ratings from 2008-2022:

  1. South West – 8733
  2. South East – 7952
  3. East of England – 7380
  4. London – 4814
  5. Yorkshire and the Humber – 4804
  6. West Midlands – 4491
  7. East Midlands – 4139
  8. North West – 3726
  9. North East – 2094

Ben Hodges says: “As a heat pump specialist in the South West, we are delighted to see our region receive the most A ratings in the EPC register. The south of England has an abundance of new builds and homes sold in the last few years as the pandemic and coastal factors make it a more idyllic settlement choice, so this could be contributing to the higher number of new builds or homes with high energy efficiency ratings. It also will be in part due to the number of providers in other areas that make choices such as solar PV panels, or a heat pump, a practical solution for homeowners and developers. With the South West currently having more than 4 times as many A rated domestic buildings than the North East since 2008, we hope this will level out over the coming years as adoption of energy-efficient measures around the whole UK increases.” 

[1] Table D1: domestic Energy Performance Certificates for all dwellings by energy efficiency ratinghttps://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-energy-performance-of-buildings-certificates#epcs-for-non-domestic-properties:~:text=Table%20D1%3A%20domestic%20Energy%20Performance%20Certificates%20for%20all%20dwellings%20by%20energy%20efficiency%20rating 

 

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