Impact of climate change

Climate change is something that affects us all, and here at Dudley Building Society, we are committed to contributing towards a brighter and more sustainable future.

One of the major factors that is contributing to the climate crisis is low energy efficiency in homes, particularly caused by unsuitable insulation. Poor insulation means that our energy usage is inefficient, resulting in large energy costs, colder living conditions, and a negative impact on the country's overall emissions.

By making improvements to our homes to improve the energy efficiency, we can have a positive impact on our environment, whilst also reducing our living costs and improving our overall quality of life. 

What are the government's plans for reducing emissions?

In 2019, the UK government became the first major economy to legislate for net zero greenhouse gas emissions. This target requires the UK to to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

How will you be affected?

To help reach this target, the government wants as many homes as possible to be upgraded to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)  Band C by 2035. This means you are likely to have to improve the energy performance of your home up to a minimum EPC rating of C by 2035.

If you are a landlord, you will not be able to take on new tenants if your property has an EPC rating of D or below from 2025. For homes with tenants already in place, this rule comes into effect in 2028.

Homes in the UK make up 15% of green house gas emissions in 2018, or 22% if electricity consumption is included. The government recognises that to achieve its net zero target, emissions need to have largely been eliminated from UK homes by 2050.

What is an EPC rating and why is it important?

The EPC rating of your property is used to determine the energy efficiency of your home, with an A rating being the best and G the worst. The higher the rating of your home, the lower your energy bills are going to be.

You may already have an EPC certificate for your property which provides details of the energy efficiency rating of your home and why the property has been assigned that rating. However, if you don't currently have a certificate, you can asses all of the information via the government website, here, by imputing your postcode.

Within your EPC certificate, you will be able to find recommendations for how the energy efficiency of your property can be improved, as well as the average cost for making these improvements. 

Ultimately, the more a property can be improved to increase the EPC rating, the more you can save in the long run on energy bills, whilst also contributing to a greener and more sustainable future.

What green home improvements can I make and how much money can I save?

There are a range of green home improvements that you can make to improve the energy efficiency of your home. Some of the main examples are:

  • Insulation – including loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, solid wall insulation (internal or external), under floor insulation, pitched roof insulation and flat roof insulation
  • Boiler upgrades
  • Radiator upgrades
  • Draught proofing – window and door improvements
  • Double or triple glazing
  • Solar panels 
  • Hybrid heat pump
  • Hot water tank thermostat
  • Underfloor heating

If you own an average house in England or Wales built before 2018, you can expect to save around one quarter of your energy bill each year (£178) by upgrading to your potential EPC rating, according to PwC. Over a decade, this could save you around £2,150. 

Although this is useful to show how much you could save, this estimate does not factor in the upfront costs of energy efficient upgrades or the emissions associated with making them. 

What options are available to support in making green home improvements?

While it’s important to understand the long-term financial benefits of making home improvements, it can be difficult to know where to start. Many mortgage lenders now offer an energy efficient mortgage, designed to assist you in funding the improvements.

Many lenders will provide a cashback feature on their energy efficient mortgage product that is paid on completion, or once the works have been completed. The cashback amount will vary between different lenders so it’s important to first weigh up how much your improvements might cost.

Alternatively, other lenders will offer a range of discounted rates to borrowers that plan to improve the EPC rating of their property.

Should I seek advice?

The number of options available to you may seem overwhelming, so in order to ensure that you’re getting the right option for your circumstances, we recommend that you seek advice from a mortgage advisor. You may already have an advisor in mind, but if not, you can make an enquiry through our trusted partner, Concept Financial Services*.

Make an Enquiry

*Financial advice is provided by Concept Financial Services, a trade name of Delphic Financial Planning Ltd, which is an appointed representative of The Openwork Partnership, a trading style of Openwork Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.  

Where can I find tradespeople to carry out improvements?

Finding reputable and trust-worthy traders can be daunting when deciding whether to take on home improvements to your property. It is important that you use competent tradespeople, so you can have confidence and be assured you are making the right choice when carrying out upgrades to your home.

TrustMark is the only government endorsed quality scheme in the UK covering home upgrades in or around the home. Registered tradespeople are thoroughly checked and continually monitored so they carry out work to the required standards of technical competence, customer service and trading practices. If anything should go wrong, registered businesses are required to provide guarantees on their work and have a clear and simple disputes resolution process in place.

Benefits

  • Provide confidence and choice through government endorsed quality
  • Minimum standard of quality and assurance, regardless of the type of trade you are looking for
  • Greater protection through TrustMark’s network of scheme providers and trading standards if things do go wrong
  • TrustMark offers a range of free advice and information to homeowners, which helps to provide you with the knowledge and choice to make the best decisions when it comes to improving your home

How to find the right trader on TrustMark

  1. Go to the TrustMark website - https://www.trustmark.org.uk
  2. At the top of the homepage, next to the ‘Search’ function, select the ‘Find a TrustMark Trader’ icon. This will take you through to the ‘Find a Tradesperson’ page
  3. Once you are on this page, enter your Town or Postcode (e.g. Dudley or DY5 1LN) and the type of home improvement you require (e.g. Cavity wall insulation)
  4. Click on ‘Find Me A Tradesperson
  5. Select an appropriate Tradesperson from the results provided
What can we offer?

If you currently hold a mortgage with us, our Energy Efficient Further Advance product provides a cashback sum of 0.50% to provide that extra financial support. 

We’re committed to helping our members improve the energy efficiency of their homes and contributing to a brighter, more sustainable future.

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