Better insulation and environmentally-friendly heating systems will pass on savings to occupiers, who will spend less on energy bills.
Yet the cost of retrofitting homes to the government’s proposed standards will not be spread evenly across the country, says Localis.
The report estimates that the cost in some areas of the north and midlands, where property prices are lower, will represent up to 25 per cent of a home’s value.
Break the cycle of poverty for good
Big Futures is calling on the Government to put in place a plan and policies to break this cycle of poverty for good. We are calling for long-term solutions to meet the biggest issues faced in the UK today – the housing crisis, low wages and the climate crisis. Dealing with these issues will help the UK to protect the environmental, social, economic and cultural wellbeing of future generations. So that young people and future generations have a fair shot at life. Join us and demand a better future.
In affluent parts of London and the south east, meanwhile, retrofitting will represent 2 per cent or less of the property’s value.
This high cost risks “alienating landlords and homeowners” who may avoid making the necessary improvements for the UK to hit its net zero target by 2050, said the report.
As a result, thousands of private tenants may be left in draughty homes using fossil fuel boilers, making their energy costs higher for longer.
The report points out that households in “red wall” areas will be particularly hard hit, undermining the government’s levelling up agenda.
Subscribe to The Big Issue
Take a print or digital subscription to The Big Issue and provide a critical lifeline to our work.
The government has failed to account for these issues with insulation in their announcement of a heat pump grant, the Environmental Audit Committee said.
“As yet, there is little acknowledgment that effective use of heat pumps requires buildings to be properly insulated.
“Our Committee’s evidence highlighted that insulation costs can double the current cost of a heat pump for many of the 19 million homes that are older and have an EPC rating of less than C,” it said.
A spokesperson for Propertymark, a professional body for the property centre, said:
“When we look at property value against the estimated cost of retrofit improvements for energy efficiency, we see a stark geographical divide making the feasibility of carrying out works required unequal across the country.
“This means that those living in lower value areas will be penalised when they are unable to afford the measures needed to bring their homes in line with UK Government targets.”
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities has been contacted for comment.