New HBF report: Buyers of new build homes save £112 million and cut UK carbon emissions by over 500,000 tonnes per year

18 Mar, 2022

New HBF report: Buyers of new build homes save £112 million and cut UK carbon emissions by over 500,000 tonnes per year

HBF has today published a new report analysing government data, which finds that buyers of new build homes are saving more than £400 per household on their energy bills and collectively doing their bit to reduce the country’s carbon emissions with almost 600,000 tonnes less carbon emitted than if last year’s new build homebuyers had chosen to purchase an older, less efficient property,

With energy bills set to rise by more than 50% from the end of next month, the benefits of a highly energy efficient new home have never been more important, but as well as saving homeowners on monthly bills, buyers of new homes can proudly say that on average their home produces just a third of the annual carbon emissions produced by older properties – preventing 2.4 tonnes of carbon each year for every household.

The report – ‘Greener, Cleaner, Cheaper’ – finds that:

  • Owners of new build houses and flats will save homeowners an average of £435 a year, rising to £555 for new build houses alone
  • The average new build home emits 2.38 tonnes less of carbon each year.
  • The research shows that despite new build homes being, on average, 7.4% larger than older properties, new homebuyers are still generating valuable savings every month

The energy efficiency of homes has become increasingly important in recent years, amid the ongoing crisis surrounding rising energy prices and an enhanced focus on environmental issues. Builders of new build homes are able to adapt to new technologies, materials and regulations to embed energy efficiency at the point of construction, while owners of existing properties will often find themselves facing disruptive, extensive and costly retrofit works to bring their homes to the same standard.

With more lenders beginning to offer green mortgages – such as lower interest rates for buyers of more energy efficient homes – and stricter requirements for landlords renting out domestic properties, home builders are urging lenders to go further, faster to assist homebuyers in making the right environmental choice. Despite the considerable differentials in the cost of heating new build homes compared with older properties and the increasing percentage of monthly running costs that energy now represents, most mortgage affordability calculations presume a single national average energy bill across all types of home regardless of its efficiency.

Commenting on the new research, HBF Managing Director, Neil Jefferson said:

“We have known for many years that new homes bring a wealth of benefits to homebuyers but with energy bills rising it’s never been more important for homebuyers to weigh up these costs as they consider their next move.

“Mortgage lenders have a vital role to play in helping homebuyers to make the cost efficient and carbon saving steps that households are increasingly keen to make”

In the year to September 2021, 84% of new build properties received an A or B EPC rating for energy efficiency, while just 3% of existing properties reached the same standard. In contrast, 58% of existing dwellings had an efficiency rating of D-G.

The improved energy efficiency standards have a significant impact on household carbon emissions. The report finds that new build homes in this sample accounted for 15.4% of EPCs, 16.4% of the floorspace, but just 6.4% of the total annual CO2 emissions.

The report finds that new build properties offer lower running costs for all household utilities. On average, new build purchasers save an annual £395 on heating bills, £28 on hot water and £12 on lighting. In total, the yearly household bill for owners of older properties in this dataset was £890, almost twice as much as the annual bill for a new homeowner, which was £455.