New statistics from the Office for National Statistics have revealed that London has the most energy-efficient housing in London and Wales.
Office for National Statistics 2021 Report
The 2021 Energy Efficiency of Housing in England & Wales Report analysed the energy efficiency, estimated carbon dioxide emissions, and energy cost of all houses in England and Wales with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
The analysis found that London has the highest median energy efficiency score of 68, ahead of the national average in England (66) and Wales (64). The West Midlands and Yorkshire had the lowest average score of 65.
It has been a legal requirement to get an EPC on all properties sold since 2007 and roughly 50% of homes in England and Wales have now been given an energy performance rating.
What is an EPC?
An EPC evaluates the energy performance of a residential or commercial property. The assessment is carried out by a qualified energy assessor and the property is given an energy-efficient rating of A-G, with A being the most energy-efficient and G being the least energy-efficient. The rating is based on information relating to heating systems, energy features, building material used, and more.
As part of the energy assessment, homeowners and landlords are also given recommendations to improve energy efficiency and reduce associated energy costs. This may involve installing extra insulating, upgrading to more efficient appliances, or adopting other energy-saving measures.
Energy efficiency measures in the capital
The government is committed to making London one of the greenest cities in the world and has set an ambitious target to become net-zero by 2050. Various eco-friendly schemes have been introduced to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions in the capital.
Greener Social Housing
The Greener Social Housing scheme was given £12 million from the London Green Fund back in 2013. The scheme aimed to make 2,500+ London properties more sustainable through energy-saving measures.
Funding from the Greener Social Housing scheme can be used to pay for a wide variety of energy-saving property upgrades such as installing a new heating system or additional insulation to wall cavities.
Funding allocated to the Greener Social Housing Scheme has also been used to build new, energy-efficient properties designed to meet increasing housing demands in the capital. New housing estates meet the highest environmental standards and make London greener and more affordable.
Community heating schemes
The Office for National Statistics report said that one of the major reasons for London’s superior energy efficiency is the number of community heating schemes introduced in the region.
London has multiple community heating schemes in operation throughout the region that help low-income households access affordable and sustainable energy. Data shows that approximately 16% of households in the capital rely on community heating schemes for their energy needs.
Energy Efficiency Fund
London’s Energy Efficiency Fund was allocated £60 million in funding from the London Green Fund. The scheme was introduced in 2011 to reduce carbon emissions and make the capital’s properties more eco-friendly.
As it stands, the Energy Efficiency Fund has been used to improve the energy efficiency of over 70 buildings in London including the Tate Modern art gallery and St George’s Hospital.
Other reasons why London has the highest energy efficiency
Another reason why London scored highly in energy efficiency is because of the large number of flats and apartments occupied in the capital. A recent survey by Barratt Homes found that London’s property landscape is dominated by flats, with 43% of Londoners living in one, the most of any region in the UK. The average percentage of homeowners living in flats in the rest of the UK is just 9.8%.
The Office for National Statistics energy efficiency report compared property types and revealed that flats are by far the most energy-efficiency properties in the housing market.
The UK government has set ambitious carbon reduction targets and the capital is leading the way to a greener, more sustainable future. London has been named the most energy-efficient region in the UK and this can be largely attributed to the number of green schemes that have been introduced in the capital.
Energy efficiency investments benefit the entire economy by reducing carbon emissions, lowering energy bills, and creating new jobs in the construction and energy sector. Significant progress has been made to create a greener capital, but there is still a long way to go to reach our net-zero targets by 2050.