Harlow’s new builds “less energy efficient”

LIVING in a new build could cut your energy bills in half compared to those in older homes but not in Harlow says a latest report.

The average cost for heating, light and hot water in a new build house in England was £399 a year in 2018/19, compared to £885 for older homes.

Those in new build flats also see smaller bills on average at £307 a year, compared to £544 for older flats.

The gap was slightly bigger in Wales, where the average bill for a new build home was £394, compared to £907 for older homes, while new build flats averaged £284 compared to £524 for existing flats.

Those who are renting can also expect higher bills on average, at £849 per year in houses and £567 in flats in England, and £879 and £575 respectively in Wales.

For those in socially rented homes, the average bill in England was £667 per year for houses, and £461 for flats, but less in Wales at £635 for homes and £443 for flats.

The figures, based on Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) data, also shows new build homes are more energy efficient than existing homes.

The median energy efficiency score on the certificates, which are required when selling or renting out a home, for new flats and new houses in England and in Wales was rated within EPC band B – new flats had a median score of 83 and new houses a score of 84.

In contrast, the median energy efficiency score for existing flats (70 in both countries) was rated within EPC band C, and for existing houses within band D.

The median energy efficiency score for existing houses in England was 64, while in Wales it was 63, according to the figures from the Office for National

However, there are variations in how energy efficient new homes are, and in some areas they don’t beat existing homes.

Cambridge had the highest average energy efficiency score for new flats, with 89 (band B), and North Lincolnshire the lowest, with 59.5 (band D)

Hounslow in London had the highest average energy efficiency score for new houses, with 90 (band B), and both Adur in West Sussex and Kensington and Chelsea the lowest, with 81.5 (band B)

There were 14 local authorities where the average energy efficiency scores for new flats was lower than for existing ones –  Harlow had the biggest difference between new flats (61, band D) and existing flats (71, band C).

Better energy efficiency also means a smaller carbon footprint due to heating and light.

For 2018/19, in England and in Wales, the average estimated CO2 emissions for existing houses were equivalent to the emissions of more than two new houses combined.

In July 2020, the new Green Homes Grant scheme was announced, which is intended to support homeowners in England in making their homes more energy efficient, and create new work in the construction industry.

Since 2011, the Welsh Government has invested in its own home energy efficiency programme, designed to support people living on a lower income to improve the energy efficiency of their home.

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