Energy Efficiency: A key consideration for homebuyers (and homeowners)

Are you in the market for a new home? It’s a big decision, and there are a lot of factors to consider. Have you thought about energy efficiency? A recent survey by Knight Frank showed that a home’s energy efficiency is a top priority for many buyers. With rising energy costs and a growing concern for the environment, it’s no surprise that 35% of respondents said energy efficiency was the most influential factor in their decision to purchase a more energy-efficient home.

And it’s not just about being eco-friendly. Improving your home’s energy efficiency can actually increase its value by up to 20%. From simple changes like switching to energy-efficient lightbulbs to more substantial upgrades like installing insulation or a heat pump, there are plenty of ways to make your home more energy-efficient.

Saving Money and the Environment

The survey has shown that the energy efficiency of a home is a central factor in a buyer’s decision-making, ranking higher than environmental and regulatory concerns. With rising energy costs, 35% of respondents said this was the most influential factor in their decision to buy a more energy-efficient home.

The prospect of future environmental regulations affecting the value of inefficient homes was a close second, with 20% of respondents mentioning this as a consideration. A preference for a greener home was cited by 18% of respondents, who stated that they would pay more for it if necessary.

The survey also found that 76% of respondents considered access to an electric vehicle charging point essential or more important than a year prior, reflecting the increasing popularity of electric cars.

Improving Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

The energy efficiency of England’s housing stock has improved over time, but many homes still carry an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D or below. However, according to Knight Frank’s analysis, improving a home’s EPC rating could increase its value by up to 20%.

When asked about plans to improve their home’s energy efficiency, half of the respondents cited energy-efficient lightbulbs as their primary strategy. Other measures, such as fitting double or triple glazing, draught-proofing, and installing loft or roof insulation, were cited by 38% of respondents.

At VOR we are working with many private homeowners looking to increase the energy efficiency of their properties and reduce their heat demand (and bills). A PAS2035 retrofit assessment will look at your home, its condition and how you use it. Our technical team will then undertake full SAP energy modelling ensuring that the retrofit measures are appropriate to your property and prepare a fabric first plan for the long term retrofit.

Despite the government’s plans to decarbonise UK households by promoting heat pumps, only 17% of respondents said they intended to install one. The ONS reports that as of March 2022, 80% of households with an EPC are using gas for their central heating.

For those 17% who are looking to install a heat pump, its vital that fabric retrofit measures are considered first for the heat pump to be effective. 

So, whether you’re a first-time homebuyer, looking to upgrade, or improve the home you already own, don’t overlook the importance of energy efficiency (and retrofit). It’s not just good for the planet but also for your wallet!