Energy Efficiency Findings from the English Housing Survey 2009

5 July 2011: The detail behind the 2009 English House Condition Survey Headline Report published by CLG in February 2011,  has today been set out in the English Housing Survey: Housing Stock Report 2009, which involved surveying 17,042 households  between April 2009 and March 2010.

Chapter 6 of the report assesses the energy performance of the housing stock in terms of its energy efficiency and CO2 and sets out some interesting findings including that:

  • The energy efficiency (SAP) rating for the housing stock is 53 points  in 2009.
  • Some 15% of all dwellings were in the lowest Energy Performance Certificate Energy Efficiency Rating Bands F and G (SAP less than 39).However, whilst 19% of private rented and 16% of owner occupieddwellings were in Bands F or G, only 6% of all social rented dwellingswere similarly banded.
  • By 2009, half of all dwellings with cavity walls had cavity wall insulation. Solid wall insulation was far less common: only 2% of dwellings with non-cavity walls had external insulation, and almosthalf of these were in the social rented sector.
  • Only 41% of dwellings with lofts had at least 150mm of loft insulation in 2009,
  • In 2009, around a quarter (24%) of all dwellings had either acondensing or condensing combination boiler compared to only 2% in2003. Some 29% of all boilers were less than three years old although the same proportion of boilers were at least 12 years old.
  • Some 2% of dwellings had some form of solar panel system (either photovoltaic panels for micro generation of electricity or solar water heating panels) in 2009.

Chapter 7 goes on to consider the ‘energy improvement potential‘ and concludes:

  • In total 19.3 million dwellings (86% of the housing stock) could benefit from at least one of the cost effective improvements recommended through the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
  • The measure that could benefit the largest number of dwellings was replacing the existing conventional central heating boiler with a condensing unit (13.4 million).
  • Generally, private rented dwellings were the most likely to be able to benefit from lower cost improvement measures. The oldest stock was not necessarily the most likely to benefit from cost effective measures because many of these older dwellings have been improved over the years.
  • The average cost of carrying out cost effective improvements would be around £1,400 per improved dwelling.
  • If all cost effective improvement measures were installed, the mean energy efficiency (SAP) rating for the stock as a whole would rise by10 points to 63.
  • On the basis of this energy efficiency rating methodology, the improvement would equate to a potential 22% reduction in heating,lighting and ventilation costs of average fuel bills for households (at constant prices), CO2 emissions falling on average by 1.4 tonnes/year across the whole stock and a total saving of 32 million tonnes/year of CO2 (or 24% of total emissions accounted for by the housing stock).
  • If all cost effective improvement measures were installed, the percentage of dwellings in EPC Energy Efficiency Rating Bands A to C would more than double to almost 40% of the housing stock and the percentage in the least efficient Bands E to G would fall by more than half to 18%.

Unfortunately no breakdown for London or any other regions where these surveys were undertaken is provided. However, a lot of interesting stuff to get through here- and much more in the chapters. The fact that replacing older boilers with newer condensing models was identified as the “measure that could benefit the largest number of dwellings” it seems a bit of an oversight of Government not to have any programme in place (now that the Boiler Scrappage Scheme has now stopped (at least in England) and that the  Warm Front programme is soon to be wound up) to accelerate the take up of higher efficiency boilers. Additionally, the Green Deal, starting in October 2012,  does not include boiler replacement within the measures it will cover.

A breakdown of the statistics behind the report are presented in the English Housing Survey Housing Stock Summary Statistics Report 2009 and a summary of the findings are set out in English Housing Survey Bulletin: Issue 4, both of which were also published today.

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