The energy efficiency of our homes

The energy in our homes

Whenever you buy or rent a property you will be provided with an Energy Performance Certifificate (EPC), which will tell you how energy efficient your property is. Properties are given an A to G rating, where A is the most energy efficient. We have analysed the data behind 17.5 million current EPCs to provide an insight into the energy efficiency of our homes.


Why should I care?


Buildings in the UK account for 34% of total emissions and although emissions have declined by nearly a quarter since 2007, we’ve still got a long way to go. Residential buildings are responsible for the lion’s share of emissions produced by the real estate sector and with little over a decade left to limit a climate change catastrophe, improving energy efficiency in our homes is essential.


Moreover, well built, energy efficient homes have a longer lifecycle, and are much healthier and pleasant to live in. Importantly, they cost less to run, meaning it’s not just good for the planet, it’s good for your wallet too!


Where are we now?


Most properties in England & Wales have an energy efficiency rating of D, but 46% are rated C or above. The cost implications are significant; on average the annual energy costs for a D rated property is £889. Converting to a C rated property could save around a third with a reduced cost of £584 per annum.



How can I improve my home’s EPC rating?

Fulfilling a property’s energy efficiency potential can be challenging and the cost implications can be substantial. CBRE have explored some of the improvements that can be made that are cost effective and could contribute to savings on the running costs of a property while reducing emissions.


Stay warm


Our interrogation of the data shows most D rated properties can be increased to a C rating. One way to improve efficiency is by improving the insulation of a property.

At present, 53% of D rated properties are uninsulated. In comparison, 80% of all C rated properties have insulation. Insulation is a must have to improve energy efficiency of a property and is relatively cost effective.

One of the biggest changes that could be made to improve a property’s energy efficiency is through the installation of double glazing. Full or partial double glazing is a very popular choice across the ratings with 95% of properties opting for it. Nevertheless, 5% of D properties have secondary or single glazing which is
very inefficient.


Control your home


Heating control, such as thermostats, are also common throughout all ratings and they’re an important aspect of any energy efficient home. However, we’ve estimated that 10% of D rated properties have no form of heating control. Installing a thermostat is a very cost-effective way of controlling the heating in a home; a smart thermostat means the heating can even be controlled from a smartphone!


Cost and Benefits


We have estimated it would cost around £680 to improve a D rated home to a C. This would save around £305 a year on energy bills and reduce emissions by 80%. This means it would take 2.2 years to payback the improvements.