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Two-thirds of homeowners unaware of their EPC rating

Written by: Nick Cheek
Just a third of borrowers are aware of their home's Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating, Mortgage Advice Bureau research reveals.

In a survey of 2,004 property owners by the Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB), around two thirds (64%) did not know their EPC rating, with the report noting that many could be wrongly assuming they already have a good enough rating and didn’t need to make any changes.

For those who did know their EPC rating, 27% said this was because they were interested in making changes to improve it, while a third said they were inclined to make changes as they had seen the effect raising the EPC had on their friends or families’ bills.

However, the survey showed that, among the majority of homeowners, there remains a lack of knowledge around EPC ratings and where to get further information.

Indeed, only around one in 10 (12%) respondents had spoken with an adviser about their EPC, and two thirds of homeowners had no idea of the Government’s target for properties to have a minimum grade C EPC rating by 2035, or the shorter deadline of 2025 for private rental accommodation.

Ben Thompson, deputy CEO of MAB, believes that more needs to be done to combat this situation.

He said: “The Government’s deadline of 2025 for private rental accommodation to be a minimum of grade C is fast approaching, and landlords will need to act soon with regard to retrofitting older properties.

“However, there remains a lack of knowledge about this deadline or the benefits that come with higher EPC ratings.”

Thompson highlighted that upgraded EPC ratings can mean more than just reduced energy bills.

He said: “When people think about upgrading their EPC rating, many will think of the impact it will have on their energy bill and the climate.

“However, it can also make you eligible for green mortgage deals that often come with incentives such as lower interest rates. Retrofitting and upgrading a property’s EPC can also increase the value of your home, as homeowners strive to be more energy efficient.”

How much will an EPC cost?

Thompson said there isn’t a set price for an EPC assessment but a guideline would be anything between £35 to £120, according to Checkatrade.

“For those who are contemplating upgrading their EPC, knowing how much work you have to do to get to your desired level is a good starting point. Using the Government’s energy certificate service, you can enter your postcode to identify your EPC rating, and also locate local contractors,” he said.

He added: “Once you know your EPC rating, you can use tools like Mortgage Advice Bureau’s EPC calculator to see how much improving your EPC could add to your property value. For example, in Derby (DE24) where our main office is, the average price of a house in the area is £174,269 according to Rightmove.

“If a property was worth this amount with a grade D rating, upgrading it to a grade C would be worth over £11,000 more at £185,945. However, if you went further and upgraded it to the best possible grade A, it would be worth £208,251 – almost £34,000 more. On top of raising the value of your home, there are wider financial benefits to increasing your EPC rating, with the Government estimating that you can save £2,502 on an average energy bill over three years if you upgraded from a grade G to a grade A.”

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