Energy Efficiency Figures Show Two Sides of the Coin
In January, The Conversation published an article that highlighted the UK housing industry’s role in reducing carbon emissions. Titled ‘The UK has some of the least energy-efficient housing in Europe – here’s how to fix this’, the article is a pretty damning verdict of housing pre-dating 1990,which has led to poor health conditions and harmed the natural environment.
Thankfully, we are much more environmentally-conscious these days, and developers have been working hard to undo much of the historic damage caused by inefficient housing.
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) were introduced in2007 as a way of summarising the energy efficiency and environmental impact of a property.
Inside Housing has reported that between October and December last year, 84% of new builds in England and 87% in Wales, received an energy efficiency rating of A or B – the two highest grades.
In the same time period, only 3% of existing buildings in England that lodged an EPC had a rating of B, with less than 0.1% achieving anA.
The chasm between new builds and existing properties reflects the lack of acknowledgement of the problem until recent years, andalso shows the extent of the work still required to rectify a global issue that has snowballed for decades.
While no targets have been set for new builds, the UK government has unveiled a deadline of 2030 for all social homes to be upgraded to a minimum rating of C, while the Welsh government are expected to set the same deadline for social homes to achieve an A.
It’s common knowledge that energy efficiency is high on the priority list for developers and these figures underline the progress being made, while reminding us of the challenge that still exists.