Energy efficiency is a key concern for individuals and businesses across the world.
With climate change accelerating at an unprecedented rate, we’re all looking to adopt more sustainable practices, reduce our carbon emissions and make the most of what we have.
However, Britain’s homes and commercial properties are known to be some of the oldest and coldest in Europe. This makes it far more challenging to improve our energy efficiency ratings, save money on fuel bills and meet the government’s net-zero goals by 2030.
In this article, we’re going to use data on EPCs (Energy Performance Certificates) to explain which are the best and worst places in Britain for energy efficiency
What is an EPC?
An EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rates how energy efficient your building is and suggests areas you can improve. It works on a scale of A+ to G and uses a colour-coded system for easy at-a-glance reference.
Just like a school grading system, A+ is the best and G is the worst. Green indicates excellent energy efficiency and red highlights the worst performing properties.
This certificate has been in existence since April 2008 and is a legal requirement whenever a property is bought, sold or rented. It was introduced to help reduce greenhouse gases and limit climate change across Europe.
It combines data regarding your floor area and amount of energy used, energy efficiency based on fuel costs and your environmental impact based on your CO₂ emissions. You can use your rating to compare the energy efficiency of your property with any other in Europe.
Which are the most energy-efficient places in the UK?
The best places in the UK for energy efficiency tend to be those with larger populations and away from harsh weather conditions.
Local governments have invested more to ensure new builds are energy efficient and often promote various campaigns to raise awareness of green issues and encourage residents to become more sustainable.
In these places, the property market is also more active with huge numbers of properties being bought, sold and rented on a regular basis. This means that more EPCs are required and therefore people tend to make more improvements when it comes to the energy efficiency of their homes.
The following five cities are considered to be the best when it comes to energy efficiency.
Which are the least energy-efficient places in the UK?
In contrast with the above, the worst places in Britain for energy efficiency tend to be those in remote and exposed places and with smaller populations. Many of the homes in these areas are older and tend to have been owned or rented for many years.
This means that unless they’re proactively eco-minded, they’re unlikely to have requested an EPC or are aware of the changes that need to be made.
Even if they do know how to improve their energy efficiency, many properties are unsuitable for basics such as cavity wall insulation or it’s harder or more expensive to access them in these places.
The following five places are considered the worst in the UK for energy efficiency.
- Isles of Scilly
- Eden, Cumbria
- Isle of Anglesey
How to make your home more energy efficient
If you find that you live in one of the worst places named above, don’t despair. You can reduce your energy bills and make your property more efficient by following these tips:
1. Get an EPC – If you haven’t had your property assessed before, get an EPC to understand how energy efficient your property is and identify any areas you can improve.
2. Install cavity wall insulation – Did you know that your property loses around a third of its heat through the walls? Insulation can greatly reduce energy loss and help keep you warm during the winter months.
3. Upgrade your windows and doors – Double, triple or secondary glazing can reduce heat loss and make your home more energy efficient.
4. Draught-proof your property – Improve the seal around your windows, doors, keyholes and letterboxes with draught-proofing tape you can find easily in most DIY stores.
5. Switch your lighting – Using low energy LED lights will save you money on energy bills and last longer than regular light bulbs. A wise investment indeed.
When it comes to energy efficiency, places like London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham are rated the best according to EPC ratings.
On the other hand, the Isles of Scilly, Gwynedd, Ceredigion, Eden and the Isle of Anglesey currently struggle to be as green as they could. However, by making certain eco-friendly changes, these places too could make Britain proud.
Follow the tips we’ve outlined above and get in touch if you need help getting your EPC.