The government’s aims to have as many homes as possible reach an energy efficiency rating of C by 2035 in England and Wales. For private rented homes they have set an earlier target of 2030.

Almost 1.7 million properties do not have the potential to improve the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating to a C, with the maximum rating being a D. Some will not be able to improve upon a G rating.

Across England and Wales, 59% of homes currently have a D, E, F or G rating. There is the potential for this to be reduced to 11% of homes if recommended improvements were made, according to the research.

Homes with the lowest ratings will cost a substantial amount of money to improve. The research with current homeowners indicates that few are disinclined to make changes now, unless it makes a big difference to the cost of their household bills. For homeowners thinking of selling, they will apply the changes if it’s going to make their home more attractive to a potential buyer.

Some lenders are now starting to introduce green mortgages (Natwest, Barclays, Nationwide, etc.) as incentives for people to buy energy efficient homes, or commit to upgrading their proposed purchase. The take-up appears to be slow. Homeowners need to be better informed that how green their home is will become increasingly important as we move towards a net zero society.

For homeowners, 2035 seems a long way away. For landlords in the private rented sector, 2030 is only 9 years away – about the life expectancy of a new combi gas central heating boiler! If a landlord’s rental property energy efficiency rating cannot be improved to meet the minimum requirements, perhaps it is time to sell? The sale proceeds could be reinvested in a property that will be easy to let going forwards and such a strategy can take advantage of current personal Capital Gains Tax allowances, taking the ‘sting’ out of the need to sell.

Property is a long-term investment. It needs a long-term strategy to be successful. Waiting until the 11th hour and then having to react is not the best approach.

– A blog by Director, Michael Moore