It could save them hundreds of pounds
An online mortgage company has advised homeowners to check their properties’ Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ratings to potentially unlock lower mortgage rates.
Habito said that homeowners with a higher EPC rating stand to make significant savings on their mortgage repayments, as well as enjoy cheaper energy bills.
The company’s research found that borrowers with an EPC rating of A or B could pocket savings of just over £86 a year, or £430 in total, over the course of their five-year fixed rate green mortgage, when compared with a lower EPC rated property.
“If you’ve done any renovations to your home since you bought it – such as replacing the windows for double or triple glazing, or insulating the walls or roof – and not paid for a new EPC certification, you might be sitting on a small EPC goldmine. Getting a new certificate could mean you’re able to benefit from lower mortgage rates,” Daniel Hegarty, founder and chief executive officer of Habito, said.
Officially, there are 2.2 million registered EPC B-rated properties and just 37,005 A-rated homes in the UK. Habito said it is likely the number is much higher, since the official dataset only includes properties sold within the past 10 years.
Habito believes many homeowners could be getting cheaper, green mortgage rates today, but aren’t aware of the options available.
“A lot of people think that you need deep pockets to make energy-efficient home improvements when in fact we’ve found that there are many low-cost improvements that can be made that ultimately could save hundreds, possibly thousands of pounds in utility bills and mortgage payments,” Garreth Griffith, Habito’s chief impact officer, said.
EPCs are becoming increasingly important as the government continues its mission to bring the UK’s housing stock up to an energy efficiency rating of C or above.
However, consumer awareness of EPCs is still low. Research from Habito in 2020 found that over a third of homeowners (36%) did not know the correct definition of a green mortgage, and a quarter (25%) thought the term only applied to new builds.
Every UK property is given an Energy Performance Certificate, which categorises a house in terms of its energy efficiency on a colour-coded scale from A to G with A being the most efficient and enjoying the cheapest bills. The EPC is the only measure of a property’s energy efficiency available today.