The value people attach to the energy efficiency of their home has to change, according to housebuilder Newland Homes, in order to tackle climate change and also to be kinder on people’s pockets.
The UK has some of the least energy efficient housing in Europe and this is having an impact on carbon emissions and energy consumption. With electricity and gas costs increasing by 54% this April, and again later in the year, Newland Homes is calling on people purchasing new homes to pay as much attention to a property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) as they would to a property’s location. Disappointingly this is not currently the case, with three quarters of respondents to a recent RICS survey* citing that an EPC rating had little or no impact on a house’s sale price.
EPCs, introduced in 2007 to measure the energy efficiency of homes when they are constructed, sold or let, give a good indication of how much it will cost to heat and power a home and likely greenhouse gas emissions. They rate the energy efficiency of homes on a scale of A to G based on the building’s energy features, such as the materials used, the heating system and insulation. The most efficient homes, which should have the lowest fuel bills, are in band A, with G being the most costly to run.
According to Rightmove, about three in five homes in the UK currently have a D rating or worse. New builds, built post-2012, perform better with an average rating of B. However, there are currently no legal requirements for a minimum EPC rating for new build homes.
Marcus Evans, Sales and Marketing Director at Newland Homes comments: “Energy efficiency must be embedded into the design of a home from the outset, as it’s extremely expensive to retrofit. A housing stock of inefficient, poorly insulated homes means that expensive fuel is simply leaking out of walls and roofs. With global gas prices so volatile this is a ticking time bomb, so people need to take steps to shield themselves from rising running costs.”
Furthermore, it is estimated that emissions from UK homes accounts for 22% of all greenhouse gases. Climate considerate housebuilder Newland Homes prides itself on the performance of its homes, which are stringently tested. High performance insulation is installed in the roof, ground floor and in external walls, and homes also boast energy efficient glazing. Furthermore, all detached homes have solar PV panels, significantly exceeding the current building requirements and resulting in a 20% reduction in carbon emissions.
There are just two remaining homes for sale at Mendip Gate in Churchill. Both are detached, four bed properties with impressive kerb appeal, but more importantly both achieve EPC ratings of A, placing them in the top 2% of energy efficient homes in the UK. They boast solar panels and what’s more, flooring is included in the price and legal fees paid, so they represent an excellent long-term investment. Prices start at £460,000.
The same high standards are also evident at Court de Wyck in Claverham, where a three-bed detached ‘Hinton’ home with solar panels also secures an A rating and is priced from £410,000. Two of these homes are ready to move in to now, to immediately benefit from the highest levels of energy efficiency.
Landlords are also being advised to pay more heed to efficiency too, with Government plans in the pipeline to make all new rental properties achieve a minimum EPC rating of C or above by April 2025.
Newland Homes is constantly finessing the blueprint of its homes, and its latest collection of developments in North Somerset and Wiltshire will be the most energy efficient to date. These zero carbon homes use air source heat pumps in place of gas boilers, have an increased number of solar panels and significant insulation levels, achieving a home which creates as much prime energy as it needs at zero cost to the homeowner.
The company itself is on course to achieve at least a 50% reduction in its carbon footprint by the end of 2024, and furthermore, it will be retrospectively carbon neutral through offsetting with immediate effect.
Newland Homes is embracing the latest technological advancements to make homes more sustainable and economic to run, without sacrificing their style. Marcus concludes: “People don’t need to compromise on design or aesthetic in favour of efficiency. You can have both.”
Tailor-made viewings are available daily between 11am to 5pm, seven days a week at both Court de Wyck and Mendip Gate. Please call 01934 331809 to book your tailor-made tour for Court de Wyck or 01934 331807 for Mendip Gate. For further information on Claverham please click here and for Churchill please click here
*RICS UK Residential Market Survey October 2021