More than half of Mansfield and Ashfield homes have poor energy efficiency ratings

More than half of Mansfield and Ashfield homes have energy efficiency ratings of Band D or lower, figures reveal, amid an energy crisis likely to see millions of people struggle to heat their homes.

By Patrick Jack
Monday, 7th February 2022, 9:08 am

The Government is being urged to make energy efficiency a national priority, after energy regulator Ofgem announced the cap on energy prices will increase by nearly £700 from April.

Energy Performance Certificates show how effective a home is at keeping heat in – with ratings from A, the most efficient, to G, the least – meaning residents have to spend more on energy bills to keep their homes warm.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show 58 per cent of dwellings in Mansfield and 56 per cent in Ashfield had an EPC rating of Band D or below in 2020-21 – the England average is 58 per cent

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a £200 rebate on energy bills, which will have to be paid back, and a £150 reduction in council tax for millions in England.

Ofgem announced the energy price cap will rise to a record £1,971 for a typical household as gas prices soar to unprecedented highs.

This 54 per cent increase will affect about 22 million households across Great Britain from the beginning of April, adding £693 to typical annual bills.

In response, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £200 rebate on energy bills, which will have to be paid back, and a £150 reduction in council tax for millions in England.

However, the Energy Saving Trust said the price cap rise – alongside higher living costs caused by further inflation – is ‘extremely worrying’.

Mike Thornton, trust chief executive, said: “As well as the need for immediate action and short-term support, the current crisis emphasises the importance of improving the energy efficiency of the UK’s housing stock in the long-term.

“Energy efficiency and more renewables are the best ways to protect everybody against volatile gas prices and rising bills in the long-term.”

The figures also show the median annual energy cost in Mansfield was an estimated £774 in 2020-21, compared with £734 in Ashfield and above the England average of £731.

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Rising bills

Analysis by the Regulatory Assistance Project shows that without energy efficiency measures already installed in UK homes – among the oldest and least energy efficient in Europe – bills could rise to as much as £3,000 a year on average.

Jan Rosenow, RAP director, said insulation is critical for meeting the country's net zero climate goals, saving money on energy bills, and insulating households from future price rises.

He said: “What is missing is a well-funded energy efficiency policy for all households that enables people to invest in making their homes more energy efficient."

Separate figures from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy show an estimated 8,302 households in Ashfield and 7,421 in Mansfield experienced fuel poverty in 2019 – the latest statistics available.

A household is considered to be fuel poor if they live in a property with low energy efficiency and would be pushed below the poverty line by housing costs and the energy bills needed to have a warm, well-lit home.

Mr Sunak said the Government's support will help around 28 million households with their rising energy costs over the next year.

He said: “We stood behind British people and businesses throughout the pandemic and it’s right we continue to do that as our economy recovers in the months ahead.”

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