The UK property market has a rapidly growing focus on energy efficiency and sustainability, as the government continues to push for net-zero emissions by 2050.
Last year saw electric vehicle (EV) charging points required by law on all newly built homes, workplaces, supermarkets, and buildings undergoing major renovations – leading to 145,000 extra charging points a year and a hope that EV charging will soon be as easy as filling up at the petrol station.
In this article, we’ll be looking at upcoming movements and what they mean for you. From EPC regulation changes to the ban on gas boilers in newly built homes, these changes are set to significantly impact how we buy and sell property.
1. What is the ‘Green premium’?
The ‘Green premium’ has been gaining traction in the UK property market. Recent analysis from RICS suggests that homes with higher energy efficiency standards are more desirable to buyers, with an average premium of 9.4% for retrofitted homes.
Estate agents have reported buyers willing to pay up to 20% more for homes with high energy efficiency ratings. Although there has been slow progress in policy, the increasing understanding of the benefits of sustainability in new builds and retrofits is leading to the growing importance of green credentials in property valuations.
2. Preparing a commercial property for EPC regulation changes
On 1st April 2023, another round of Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) regulations came into force, impacting commercial landlords. All tenanted commercial properties are now required to achieve an EPC rating of E or less, regardless of whether the tenancy is new.
To avoid difficulties in leasing a property, we would recommend that landlords only look to purchase commercial buildings with at least an EPC rating of E. Existing landlords should review leases to check if works can be carried out to improve EPC ratings and tenants should be careful when checking the building’s history and EPC rating.
As outlined in the Government’s landlord guidance document, landlords will be exempt from complying with MEES (minimum energy efficiency standards) for a few reasons; if cost-effective energy efficiency improvements have been carried out, if consent is refused by a third party, or if expert advice shows that improvements would devalue or damage the property.
3. Moving forward with the gas boiler ban
Another upcoming change that you might need to consider is the gas boiler ban for new builds after 2025. This comes as part of the Heat and Buildings Strategy to tackle emissions from homes and businesses.
The millions of homes that already rely on gas boilers will still be able to use them, however, this phasing out might be something to consider for the future. Alternatives include heat pumps, hydrogen boilers, and A-rated boilers, all of which are more energy-efficient and better for the environment.
The future of the UK property market is looking greener, and we should all strive to play our part in achieving a more sustainable and energy-efficient future.