EPC targets unachievable for many

Rightmove has published data showing 2 million homes in England and Wales will be unable to upgrade their EPC certificates to a C or above. ;

According to analysis by property website Rightmove, nearly two million homes in England and Wales cannot upgrade their Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to a rating of C or above.

2030 target

Rightmove analysed 15 million properties across England and Wales for this data.

The government is aiming for as many private rental properties to reach a C rating for their EPC in England and Wales before 2030. For residential homes, the target is 2035.

Currently, 59% of homes have D, E, F or G rating. This could be potentially reduced to 11% if home improvements were made.

Rightmove has said that 1.7 million properties with the lowest rating have no way to achieve a C rating, even after upgrades.

Geographic areas

Rightmove looked at areas with the largest share of these lower-rated homes and found that Gwynedd in Wales had the highest concentration.

77.4% of homes there had an EPC rating of D or below, which could be reduced to 13% after improvements.

Tower Hamlets in London had the lowest proportion of properties with below D grade EPC ratings at 27.4%.

Property improvements

The most commonly recommended property improvement for EPC boosting is to install solar panels.

The biggest drawback of this is that solar panels can set a property owner back thousands of pounds.

Low-energy lighting is often the second most common suggestion, and one of the cheapest improvements that can be made.

On average, a switch to low-energy lighting in a property can cost around £38.

Other improvements on the cost-effective end, include insulating the hot water cylinder at an average cost of £23, draught-proofing single-glazed windows at £100, increasing loft insulation at £223 and upgrading heating controls at £400.

Rightmove director of property data Tim Bannister says

“It is encouraging to see that there are some energy efficiency improvements that can cost less than £100, so it is definitely worth checking your EPC if your home has one to see if there are small changes you could make to try and improve your rating.

“The bigger challenge is for those homes with much lower ratings that will cost a substantial amount of money to improve.

“There are a number of homeowners who don’t feel an urgent need to make changes now unless it makes a big difference to the cost of their household bills or if it is going to make their home more attractive to a potential buyer if they’re planning to sell.

“It is early days with some lenders now starting to introduce green mortgages as incentives, but homeowners need to be better informed that how green your home is will become increasingly important as we aim to move towards a net zero society, and they need more help to understand why making improvements are so important for the long term.”

This information should not be interpreted as financial advice. Mortgage and loan rates are subject to change.