Millions of homeowners wrongly believe their property is energy efficient, a study finds


Millions of homeowners wrongly believe their property is energy efficient – as data shows 59 per cent of homes have a poor EPC rating.

A poll of 2,000 adults who own a home found 72 per cent think their property is economical in terms of its energy use, but two-thirds are unaware of what their energy performance certificate (EPC) rating is.

Data has found that over half of homes in the UK have a poor EPC rating

These range from A, the most energy efficient with the lowest costs, to G, the least efficient, with just under 50,000 homes in the UK currently getting top marks.

While figures from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities show nearly 14 million households – 59 per cent of domestic properties – have ratings between D and G, leaving them vulnerable to higher bills.

However, upon learning about EPC ratings, 84 per cent of all the homeowners polled estimate theirs would be C or above.

But despite this, nearly half (48 per cent) still took measures in the last year to make their properties more energy efficient.

The research was commissioned by Skipton Group to mark the expansion of its free EPC Plus report offering to all its 1.1million members – which aims to support more homeowners to understand how they can improve the energy efficiency of their properties.

Stuart Haire, the group chief executive, said: “We know that the rising cost of living and energy bills are at the forefront of many homeowners’ minds right now – but knowing accurately how energy efficient your home is can play a big part in helping you to reduce your energy bills.

“Our research has revealed a real knowledge gap across homeowners when it comes to understanding the true energy efficiency of their own homes, with many assuming their properties are more energy efficient than they really are.

“By not understanding the actual energy performance of their homes, it could be costing them hundreds of pounds in wasted energy – when even small changes could make the biggest difference to reducing their bills and improving their homes.”

The study went on to highlight how people perceive other household waste – almost a quarter (23 per cent) of people said they feel very guilty about throwing away food.

And 56 per cent of those polled have tried to reduce the amount of food which ends up in the bin.

To do so, many are eating leftovers rather than throwing them away, being more vigilant about freezing food before it reaches its use-by date and planning their meals before hitting the supermarket.

However, when it comes to energy, only 14 per cent of those polled via OnePoll feel guilty about leaving an appliance on stand-by and just 18 per cent feel this way when they leave a light on.

And over the course of a year these two simple household habit changes could save over £2,000.

Skipton Group has also teamed up with a specialist thermal photographer to help visualise the energy which is lost depending on a property’s EPC rating.

Stuart Haire added: “We want to take a leading role in financing the acceleration of greener UK homes and I am proud of our commitment to do this.

“Giving homeowners the knowledge of the current energy efficiency rating, as well as what it could potentially be, is a big step.

“This not only shows what savings can be made with changes to their home, but it also estimates the tonnes of carbon produced by the households.

“And includes details of any government-funded schemes available through local authorities and installers that customers are eligible for.

“Homeowners will understand how they might make their home more energy efficient – as well as aiding energy awareness and bridging the knowledge gap to empower people save money on their household bills and help green homes across the UK.”

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