Britain’s Net Zero crash: Two-thirds of UK homes will be unsellable by 2028 unless they insulate

  • Date: 25/01/21
  • Mail Online, This is money

Owners of energy inefficient homes may find themselves the proprietors of unsellable and unlettable properties just over seven years from now.

The Climate Change Committee, which is advising the UK government on how to achieve its net zero carbon emissions target by 2050, has recommended that all homes should have an Energy Performance Certificate rating of C from 2028.

UK homes are responsible for about 15 per cent of UK greenhouse gas emissions.

EPC is a rating scheme which bands properties between A and G, with an A rating being the most efficient and G being the least efficient.

There are currently about 29 million homes in the UK, of which 19 million have an EPC lower than C according to the CCC’s figures. 

In order to improve a property’s EPC rating, an owner will need to make improvements to make it more energy efficient.

The CCC are proposing all UK homes reach an EPC of band C in order to help the government meet its net zero carbon target by 2050.

‘We welcome the report and share the ambition for net zero by 2050,’ said Rob Wall, head of policy at the National Housing Federation.

‘Buildings are the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK.’

‘We need to decarbonise our homes, and how they are heated, if we are successfully to tackle climate change.’

What does it mean for homeowners?

The CCC proposes that all homes for sale must attain an EPC rating of C from 2028 onwards.

Currently, only 29.1 per cent of owner occupier properties meet the required rating, so widespread changes will be required.

The last gas boiler should be sold in 2033, with the majority of homes needing to be heated by electric powered heat pumps drawing warmth from the ground. The CCC estimates 415,000 installations per year will be required by 2025 so as to hit a target of 5.5 million heat pumps in homes by 2030.

The report states 700,000 lofts will need to be insulated per year by 2025 – there were only 27,000 lofts insulated in the past year. The committee wants 200,000 cavity wall insulations each year by 2025, when only 41,000 cavity walls were insulated in the past 12 months.

It also recommends solid wall insulation measures to increase to 250,000 a year by 2025, when just 11,000 such works were carried out in the past year alone.

This all comes at a considerable cost for a homeowner.

Estimated costs of some improvements proposed by the CCC which could boost an EPC rating

Estimated costs of some improvements proposed by the CCC which could boost an EPC rating

According to the Green energy supplier, GreenMatch UK the installation cost for an air source heat pump ranges between £8,000 and £18,000.

A ground source heat pump will be even dearer ranging between £20,000 to £40,000 per installation.

Solid wall insulation is around £100 per square meter according to the tradesman matching site, myBuilder, meaning that for a terraced house it could cost around £7,000 while for a larger detached property it could amount to more than £20,000.

‘There is a considerable quantity of pre-1950’s housing stock in the UK which, in the main, lack thermal efficiency,’ said James Perris a chartered surveyor for De Villiers Surveyors.

Perris warns that many homeowners will need to switch to electric or hydrogen heating systems, install double glazing and loft insulation, use solar panels and if possible, operate heat management systems to get a C rating.

Although the CCC does not specifically estimate the costs for the UK’s housing stock achieving an EPC of C, Savills estimate this to be in the order of £304 billion across just England and Wales.

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