Low EPC properties less appealing in the current climate

It seems buyers increasingly care about the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of properties, as a fifth (19%) of Brits wouldn’t even contemplate buying a house with an EPC below C.

What is more nearly half (46%) would rather have good insulation than a bigger garden, research from broker Mortgage Advice Bureau shows.

With many paying closer attention to how much it costs to heat a home, buyers and owners alike are increasingly looking for ways to reduce energy bills, with this serving as a key reason as to why many would only consider a higher EPC rated house.

Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: “We’re increasingly seeing buyers who are placing greater importance on energy efficiency, as having a higher EPC (especially in the winter months) will likely mean lower energy bills for the owner.

“This is something that everyone is keen on, with the cost-of-living crisis showing no signs of abating.

“What many might not know is that in buying a higher rated property, you could also become eligible for a green mortgage, a specialist mortgage for someone with an environmentally friendly home.

“This means that not only will you get a discount on energy bills, you could also lock in a cheaper mortgage rate.”

The research also showed that 84% of people surveyed said they deem it important to make their home energy efficient, and seven in 10 (71%) said they would like to make changes to their homes to help reduce bills.

However, almost half (45%) of people say it is simply too much of an upfront cost to realistically upgrade their property, even though two-fifths (41%) think that doing so would make their property more valuable in the future.

For those looking to improve their home’s energy efficiency, the majority said that the most common changes include installing energy-efficient bulbs (33%), adding a smart meter and installing loft/wall insulation (23%).

However, a fifth didn’t know what changes could help improve a home’s energy efficiency.

Brian Murphy added: “Our research found that two-thirds (60%) of homeowners didn’t know what their EPC rating was when asked.

“This is something that is important and can easily be rectified. Knowing your EPC rating isn’t only worthwhile when considering selling or buying, it’s also good to know so that you can plan upgrades to your home accordingly.

“Even though money is tight, there are a few quick fixes you can do to improve and upgrade your home’s efficiency, such as using low-energy LED lighting around the house, or in key rooms with high usage.

“Of course, larger projects that might have a greater effect – such as double glazing or added insulation - will take time and cost money, so taking smaller steps now and planning for the future could be a good use of your time.”

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