Report launch: “Lagging Behind – energy efficiency in low viability properties: Thursday 21 October from 10.30 a.m. – Council Room, One Great George Street
The national policy context
“Building back better” risks remaining a vapid if effective slogan if we don’t address the challenge of how we go about retrofitting huge swathes of existing housing stock in left-behind parts of the country where the need isn’t as great a need to ‘build, build, build’ as to ‘improve, renovate and futureproof’ what exists already.
This will mean, in practice, bridging the often significant price differentials between what exists in properties that are otherwise more or less identical in more prosperous and left-behind parts of the country.
The same energy efficiencies demanded by Net Zero targets – external and wall insulation, windows and insulation – will need to be equally undertaken in a two-bed terrace in Barking worth £350,000 as one in Burnley valued at £50,000. And the average cost of upgrading a property to EPC A ratings – upwards of £35,000 – remain the same regardless of property value.
The policy problems are manifold:
- In properties of low value, private rental landlords are unlikely to have either the rental income or equity to finance upgrades to Net Zero energy efficiency.
- Homeowners in such areas on low income have no incentive to fund expensive improvements that add no value to the property.
- So we risk creating within our neighbourhoods a stark local divide between private rented and privately-owned homes, and between those that are upgraded to Net Zero energy and heating standards, and those whose fabric is not upgraded with the prospect of residents facing higher fuel bills and deteriorating fabric.
Watch the hybrid launch on Youtube catch up:
Event and research kindly sponsored by: