NHBC: Energy efficient homes could cut annual bills in half

Research published by the National House Building Council (NHBC) and Zero Carbon Hub has revealed that new homes built to current regulations cost 55 percent less to run than typical ‘upgraded’ Victorian homes.  

The UK-wide research project analysed the potential level of savings achievable by a variety of different new build house compared to the UK’s typical Victorian homes. The results show that: A 4-bed detached new home could be 55 percent cheaper to run (saving £1,312), a 3-bed end terrace could be 52 percent cheaper to run (saving £840), a 3-bed mid terrace could be 46 percent cheaper to run (saving £642), and a 1-bed ground floor flat could be 47 percent cheaper to run (saving £426).

The report notes that, once 2016 building regulations are enforced, annual savings could sore to around £1,875 per year, a full 80 percent cheaper to run than the typical Victorian home.  

Neil Jefferson, Director at NHBC Foundation and Chief Executive of the Zero Carbon Hub, said: "Household energy usage is still one of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions in the UK but the design of new homes means they are much more energy efficient than older housing stock.

"The NHBC Foundation's report looked at what people think about energy efficient homes, and what the influencing factors are in terms of deciding to live in one. One of the clear findings was that consumers need far more information about the cost savings they could make by living in an energy efficient home, before they will commit to living in one."

"The cost data we have produced, while not guaranteed, gives an indication of the kind of monetary savings that could be made in the long term. We believe this kind of data could be useful for people making the decision to buy a new home."

The report reveals that energy efficiency is becoming an increasingly attractive characteristic for homes, with 70 percent of those surveyed stating that a home described as ‘energy efficient’ would be an attractive purchase. This increased to almost 90 percent of 16-24 year olds surveyed. In addition, almost 70 percent of consumers - and 96 percent of younger people - stated that they would be willing to pay a premium for energy efficient homes.

The younger people surveyed also showed a greater appetite for installing renewable technologies in the home, with 60 percent of 16-24 year olds saying they would be interested or very interested in buying or renting a home with renewable technologies such as solar PV.

Neil Jefferson said: "Our report into attitudes towards zero carbon homes revealed some really positive sentiment towards energy efficient living - people seem keen to do their bit towards helping the environment. However, there is still widespread confusion amongst consumers about the terminology used, the operation and maintenance of renewable technologies, and costs associated with living in a home that is highly energy efficient. For low and zero carbon housing to become more widely accepted, the whole topic needs to be made less complex and far more consumer-friendly."