Most West Norfolk homes do not meet energy efficiency targets
More than two thirds of homes in West Norfolk fail to meet long-term energy efficiency targets, according to data analysed by the BBC.
Of the 51,234 properties with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) in the borough, 34,738 of them fall below C-grade.
An EPC provides a grade between A and G for how efficient a property is. An A grade indicates lower energy costs and better insulative measures. A grade G is at the other end of the scale, with C just above average.
In West Norfolk, 68 per cent of homes fall below that C-grade – meaning householders spend more on energy bills and pump tonnes more CO2 into the atmosphere than necessary.
This reflects the national picture, with almost two thirds of all households that hold an EPC across the UK falling below a C-grade.
The Government had set a target of making all homes in England and Wales the equivalent of a C-grade by 2035, but critics say moves towards achieving that “have fallen off a cliff”.
Jenny Hill, team leader for buildings and international action, Committee on Climate Change said: “We need to implement a huge efficiency drive and switch away from a dependence on fossil fuels.
“There are 29 million homes, all of those need to retrofit energy efficiency measures and better forms of heating, and as we are looking to achieve this by 2050, that implies upgrading a million homes a year, but the current rate is 10 times less than that.”
According to the analysis by the BBC’s Shared Data Unit, the average estimated annual cost savings for heating, lighting and water bills in West Norfolk, if properties underwent all possible improvements, works out to £312.34. The average annual CO2 emissions per house in the borough is 5.23 tonnes.
The data also shows how West Norfolk stacks up against its neighbours in the county.
In Breckland, 63 per cent of homes are rated D to G, where there is an average of 4.74 tonnes of CO2 emissions per house per year. The potential annual savings in the district work out to £267.49 per year.
Meanwhile in North Norfolk, 73 per cent of homes are below a C-grade, with an average of 5.50 tonnes of CO2 emissions per house per year. The potential annual savings here are £339.73 annually.
Dr Tim Forman, a research academic at the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Sustainable Development, said now only a national project, of a scale not seen since World War Two, would be enough to help Great Britain meet its 2050 net zero carbon target, which was signed into law in June 2019.
Dr Forman said: “We need to throw everything we have at it [energy efficiency]. There’s a desperate need to do something, not in 10-15 years, but now.”
More by this authorRebekah Chilvers