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Rightmove reveals half of UK homes need EPC upgrades

New research from property portal Rightmove highlights the immense and costly task facing the next government in upgrading the UK’s housing stock. Over half of UK homes currently have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D or below, according to data from Rightmove’s database.

Survey Reveals Key Insights
Rightmove’s survey of 14,000 people uncovered that the primary motivation for improving a property’s energy efficiency is to reduce energy bills, rather than to combat climate change. The Energy Bills Tracker from Rightmove shows that the cost of running a three-bedroom house with an F rating is nearly three times higher than one with a C rating.

In light of these findings, Rightmove is urging the Labour Party, which is currently the frontrunner for the next government, to prioritise green home incentives and assist in improving the millions of homes that require upgrades.

Public Support for Green Improvements
The survey also revealed overwhelming support for green improvements, with 87% of renters and 83% of homeowners believing that action is necessary to make homes more energy-efficient.

Tim Bannister, a property expert at Rightmove, commented: “While it’s a start to see some green support proposed in the party manifestos, there’s a big job to be done to address the widescale issue that at least 18 million UK homes need to be improved. Many homeowners and landlords need urgent access to schemes that enable them to make these improvements, which could help with huge savings on energy bills. Each home requires different improvements, and the upfront costs are a huge barrier to change. Without more help, many homeowners and tenants will continue to live in high-carbon emitting homes with high energy costs.”

Government Policy Changes
Last September, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced the scrapping of the imminent requirement for all rented properties to have an EPC rating of C or above by 2025, as well as the phasing out of gas boilers in all properties by 2035. This move has raised concerns about the government’s commitment to improving energy efficiency in the housing sector.

Rightmove’s research underscores the urgent need for government action to improve the energy efficiency of UK homes. With a significant portion of the housing stock requiring upgrades, the next government will need to implement effective incentives and support schemes to help homeowners and landlords make the necessary improvements. This will not only reduce energy costs but also contribute to a greener, more sustainable future.