MILLION of UK households are set to be hit by bill price hikes but those in the least energy efficient homes could suffer more than others.
Here are the areas where homes could be hardest hit by energy bill rises.
Record high gas prices and the rising cost of living is already pushing up bills for households across the country.
Costs are set to rise further next month when the energy price cap increases to £1,977, pushing up the amount that households pay on out-of-contract tariffs.
The lack of decent deals in the market due to the high costs for suppliers means many customers face being stuck on the price cap and paying close to £2,000 a year for their energy or more depending on their deal and usage.
One way that people can try to reduce their gas and electricity costs is by making their home more energy efficient.
This can include changes such as draught proofing, double glazing and loft insulation.
Ultimately, the more heat you can stop escaping from your home, the less energy you will need to keep it warm.
If you have rented, sold or purchased a property since 2008 then you may have come across an energy performance certificate (EPC).
These assess how energy efficient a property is and gives a rating from A to G.
Homes with a rating of D or lower are seen as the least efficient and will use more energy, meaning higher bills.
Homeowners or estate agents are supposed to arrange and provide an EPC when selling a property as it gives a potential buyer an idea of what their bills will be and any energy improvements needed.
Landlords also currently have to make sure properties rented to new tenants have a minimum E rating, which will be extended to all rental properties from April 2023.
If you live, rent or are looking to buy a property with a low EPC rating, you could face even higher bill increases than others due to your home being less energy efficient.
An EPC is valid for 10 years and those issued in England and Wales are stored on a searchable website run by the department for levelling up, housing and communities.
UK Times analysed the areas with the highest number of EPCs with a rating of D or below issued over the past decade.
We found a total of 9.7million homes with an EPC rating of D and below.
That is out of 16.3million EPCs registered since January 2012.
This suggests that 57.3% of homes in England and Wales have low EPC ratings and could be hit hard by bill increases.
Of the 9.7million EPCs registered over the past decade, some 211,590 were in Birmingham.
The next highest was Leeds at 152,425, followed by Cornwall with 114,073.
Of course, it’s worth noting that areas with the highest number of low EPC ratings may have the most properties – we have looked at the overall number of EPCs rather than the proportion of homes with a low score.
The top 20 areas that are least energy efficient areas based on EPC ratings of D and below were:
- Birmingham – 211,590
- Leeds – 152,425
- Cornwall – 114,073
- County Durham – 103,400
- Manchester- 96,614
- Liverpool – 93,861
- Sheffield – 89,375
- Wakefield – 75,918
- Bristol – 75,501
- Kirklees- 75,343
- Wiltshire – 74,528
- Nottingham – 70,080
- Bournemouth – 65,949
- Wirral – 65,626
- Sunderland – 65,256
- Leicester – 64,695
- Cheshire East – 64,160
- Coventry – 63,420
- Cardiff – 59,323
- Northumberland – 58,647
How to make your home more energy efficient
Some energy efficiency measures such as loft insulation or double glazing, while beneficial, can be pricey.
But there are ways to make your home energy efficient without breaking the bank that will hopefully reduce your bills too.
Putting radiator foil – or tin foil if you’re on a tight budget – behind your radiator could save on your energy bills every time you whack the heating on.
British Gas says the trick could save you £20 a year.
DIY draught-proofing starts at just over £3 for a roll of self-adhesive draught-excluding tape.
You can use it to block up unwanted gaps around windows, doors and chimneys that let cold air in and warm air out.
You can also buy cheap draft excluders that do the same job for gaps under doors.
This will mean you hopefully spend less heating your home.
Check out these 21 steps you can take to slash your energy bill.
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