Most owners of older properties aren’t aware of where they need to start to improve the energy efficiency of their properties.
The majority (79%) with properties built before 1900 accept they need to make changes to cut their carbon footprint, but most (57%) don’t know what improvements are needed, Together research shows.
Surprisingly a fifth (21%) are completely unaware of the need to adapt their properties.
Subject to a government consultation, landlords’ properties must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of at least C from 2026 for new tenancies, and by 2028 for existing tenancies.
The government has also committed to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Scott Clay at specialist lender Together, said: “Meeting the net zero target by 2050 and tackling climate change is one of the greatest challenges we face today.
“England has some of Europe’s oldest housing stock and is well-known for its high concentration of period homes, and while this is a gift for house-hunters and property investors, it can be a curse when thinking about carbon emissions.
“What’s clear from our survey is this glaring awareness gap between period property-owners who know there is a problem and those who know how to fix it. There is no overnight solution, but there are methods to help turn the tide. More needs to be done to help those living in older houses understand what carbon neutral changes are feasible given their budgets.
“Specialist lenders are a huge piece of making this puzzle a lot simpler, offering bespoke financial support to those with more complex properties and financial circumstances.”
Together noted that the installation cost of heat pumps is a barrier for many, with the gas boiler alternative costing between £10,000 and £18,000 to install.
Heat pumps reduce a household’s carbon footprint by 2.5 tonnes of CO2 per year, but they come at a big price. They are also not immediately rewarded in terms of EPC ratings.
As it stands homeowners are typically willing to spend £5,500 on upgrading the energy efficiency of their properties.
Austin Barcley, managing director of Improveasy, offered the following advice on looking to better insulate your property:
• Many period properties were built using a solid wall construction type meaning the only way to insulate the walls is either internally or externally, as they have no cavity.
• Both methods are very effective, but homeowners must consider the impact they may have on the look of their properties, especially houses with period features as they may either be lost or costly to retain.
• When it comes to your roof, always ensure your loft is insulated adequately to 270-300mm, and if you have a ‘room in the roof’ instead of (or as well as) a loft, there is a system for insulating this area too.
• You should also consider composite external doors, energy efficient double or triple glazed windows even consider underfloor insulation (especially above an unheated cellar or basement) to get the best energy performance from your heating system.