The UK has cut its carbon emissions by 42% since 1990. But with activists such as Greta Thunberg highlighting the scale of the damage being done to the planet, we still have much to do.
So, where in the UK can claim to be the most energy efficient? We’ve looked at three years’ worth of home Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) to find the best and worst-rated areas in the country.
Outside London, Salford, Greater Manchester, is the city with the best overall energy-efficiency rating, with 67.17% of properties receiving an A-C rating. Salford is followed by Basingstoke and Deane, Hampshire, (64.19%) and Corby, Northamptonshire (64.04%).
On the other hand, Ceredigion in Wales was the country’s least energy-efficient area, with just 23.12% of properties achieving an EPC rating of A-C, followed by neighbouring Gwynedd (23.62%) and Castle Point in Essex (25.53%). In fact, six of the bottom ten local authorities were found in Wales.
Salford, Greater Manchester ranked #1 in the UK for energy efficiency rating.
Looking at the capital, Tower Hamlets is the London borough with the best EPC rating, with 75% of homes achieving A-C – higher than anywhere else in the country.
On the other hand, homes in Richmond upon Thames were found to have the highest proportion of E-G EPC ratings (19.87%), as well as estimated average annual energy bills of £871.
While the most energy-efficient boroughs in the city are in inner London, the five least efficient are further away from the city centre, including Richmond upon Thames (19.87%), Kingston upon Thames (19.55%) and Havering (19.35%).
Tower Hamlets ranked #1 in London for energy efficiency rating.
We also looked at the average annual cost of lighting, heating and hot water bills in each local authority. Not surprisingly, we found that those with the most energy-efficient homes were also those where people pay the least for their energy.
For example, Salford, which had the best EPC rating, also had the second-lowest estimated energy bills in the country, with householders spending an average of £636 on heating, lighting and hot water, compared to the national average of £881.
However, those in areas with the worst EPC ratings were more likely to pay higher energy bills. Ceredigion, for example, has an estimated average of £1,306 per year.
Dartford, Kent #1 in the UK for energy efficiency rating.
As well as being the most energy-efficient borough, Tower Hamlets has the lowest average annual energy bills in the country, at £493 per year, followed by the City of London (£556) and Hackney (£569).
Again, those areas on the outskirts of the cities, which are generally less energy-efficient, are the boroughs paying the most, including Bromley (£885), Richmond upon Thames (£871) and Havering (£849).
Tower Hamlets ranked #1 in London for annual energy bills.
When we plot energy efficiency against energy bills, it’s clear to see that it pays to be green, with many of the highest EPC-rated local authorities also working out as the cheapest.
For example, Tower Hamlets in London has both the best energy ratings, with 75% of houses achieving an A-C rating, as well as the cheapest average energy bills, at £493.
Energy efficiency ratings taken from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government’s Table LA1: domestic Energy Performance Certificates for all dwellings in each local authority, by energy efficiency rating looking at the number of domestic Energy Performance Certificates lodged on the Register in each local authority in the last three years.
Estimated energy use and fuel costs were taken from Table D3: domestic Energy Performance Certificates for all dwellings by floor area, size, energy use, carbon dioxide emissions and fuel costs and were calculated by adding together lighting, heating and hot water costs over the last three years, divided by the number of lodgements to calculate an estimated cost per house.
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