North West homes to be left behind in energy efficiency drive

Credit: PA

Homes in Liverpool, Manchester and elsewhere in the North West of England may take three decades longer to achieve a good standard of energy efficiency than elsewhere – massively overshooting Government targets, according to new analysis.

Houses in London and the South East of the country are likely to meet targets by 2031, according to property data company Kamma, while it might take homes in the North West until 2061.

This could leave homeowners and renters paying higher energy bills in Merseyside and elsewhere for up to three decades, and also put a dent in the UK’s climate plans.

The Government wants homes across the UK to reach an energy efficiency score of EPC C by 2030. The EPC system (Energy Performance Certificate) assigns a rating of between the A, the best, and G, the worst.

Plugging up leaky homes can help the UK on its target to release no more emissions than it absorbs by 2050, the so-called net-zero plan.

Household emissions currently make up 22% of the greenhouse gasses produced in the UK.

Solar Panels are seen as a way of increasing the energy efficiency of homes. Credit: PA

More than 60% of UK homes have a D rating or below, but this fluctuates from 62% in the North West to 55% in London, Kamma said.

But rather than narrowing, the gap is widening. In the last decade, there have been more energy efficiency improvements, such as double glazing, insulation or solar water heating, in London homes, than in the North West – the area where progress has been slowest.

“We need to double the pace of energy efficiency improvement of homes to meet these new targets by 2030,” said Kamma chief executive Orla Shields.

Kamma’s figures were released as part of its evidence to a Government consultation on using the property sector to encourage homeowners to improve energy efficiency.

It includes proposals that could force banks to reveal how much they have lent for energy efficiency improvements, as well as the EPC rating of their mortgage portfolio.

Ms Shields added: “The Government’s proposals for letting agents and lenders to take lead roles in the fight to improve energy efficiency will no doubt drive more impetus towards addressing the issue.

“However, we must also take swift action to address the regional inequalities that have existed for over a decade.”