Energy efficiency found to lift property values in AustraliaAustralian experience shows financial benefit, but only over time.
Report from – Jo Smit
Making a home more energy efficient could add 6% to its value. John Doggart, chair of the UK Sustainable Energy Academy said this was the impact on the market of improving the energy efficiency of housing in Australia.
Improvements made to homes in Australia were the equivalent of upgrading an existing home under the Energy Performance Certificate from an F or G to a B or C, said Doggart.
He cautioned that the improvement in value experienced in Australia had taken a decade to become established. Still it demonstrated there could be a clear financial incentive to improving the energy efficiency of existing homes, he said. “Although we don't know how that could translate to the UK, there will be a value [in upgrading existing homes].”
Estimates of potential costs of upgrading existing homes to meet the government's 2050 target of cutting carbon emissions by 80% vary. Doggart said it would cost £15,000 to £20,000 to achieve a 50% to 60% saving, and a further £15,000 to £20,000 to reach the 80% level. Doggart was speaking at the Building Research Housing Group annual conference, C80 Refurbishment Challenge at the BRE in Watford in July 2009.
The government‘s Low Carbon Transition Plan, published in July 2009, has paved the way for Pay As You Save incentives, which will allow homeowners to take out a loan to pay for improvements and repay it from energy savings.
In the affordable housing sector the upgrading of existing stock poses major challenges. The Building Research Housing Group conference gave practical lessons from registered social landlords including Radian Group, which upgraded six homes in Hampshire two years ago and is now upgrading a further 20 homes.
Sources and links
www.sustainable-energyacademy.org.uk/ to learn about the SEA's work with homeowners.
www.brhg.org.uk/ to find out more about the Building Research Housing Group.