The future of Britain’s housing is net zero, or at least it will be by 2025 – according to the government’s Future Homes Standard published earlier this year. Its aim is that all new homes in the UK will be highly energy efficient, zero carbon ready and feature low carbon heating.
The built environment currently contributes to around 40 per cent of the UK’s total carbon footprint, according to the UK Green Building Council, making the heating of buildings a priority issue if the UK is to achieve its goal of net zero by 2050. Existing homes and businesses will also be subject to stricter requirements for replacements and repairs.
Reducing carbon emissions from properties has been at the forefront of the UK’s agenda of late, due in part to the recent G7 summit in early June and the forthcoming UN Climate Change Conference UK (COP26) to be held in Glasgow later this year. Yet eco homes and sustainability in the housing industry are by no means new.
The UK is already home to a number of beautifully designed properties that are kind to the environment and energy efficient.
Global heating company Viessmann recently highlighted a number of eco homes across the UK, which could provide a blueprint for the future of UK housing, from a completely off-grid property in Scotland to a detached house in Essex. Each home showcases what is possible when homeowners are able to fully commit to creating a more sustainable, eco-friendly home.
That being said, many Brits wanting to invest in an eco home may find the prospect something of a pipe dream.
However as mortgage brokers, Scout Financial Services explains there are already a number of companies offering attractive financial products for prospective homeowners willing to go green.
Neil Weston, Principal at Scout Financial Services, explains: “There is a notable move by several lenders to promote the buying and modernising of property to be more eco friendly, and these are reflected in the deals available for properties with a better EPC rating. We can see Nationwide offering a £500 cashback for properties with an EPC of 92 or above (this is on top of any other cashback on their mortgage product). Natwest is taking a similar approach, with £350 cashback (on max. 85 per cent LTV mortgages) if you select a ‘Green Mortgage’ deal of either a 2 year discount or a 5 year fixed rate.
“Other lenders also have similar offerings with a reduced LTV, increased borrowing or an incentive cashback. These, while all helping a buyer of a newer, more efficient property, unfortunately won’t help/cover enough the costs of improvements for a less efficient property on the whole to incentivise the owner to make these improvements. They are certainly a good first step and show intent, but may not drive significant action.”