Much has been made by supporters of the Green Deal and the EPC (Energy Performance certificates) about the new study sponsored by the government into the effect of installing energy efficiency measures that increase a home’s EPC on the value of that home. The study found that on average, a home in England whose EPC rating increased experienced an increase in value of around 14% compared with those that had not been improved.
While we do not think that the Green Deal or an EPC are a bad thing at all, we are not sure about the way that this study has been interpreted. Obviously a government under pressure about the flagship Green Deal policy getting off to a slow start will want to interpret a study in this way; on the face of it, it seems like a great reason to get energy efficiency measures fitted to your home to make it more valuable, thereby encouraging uptake of the Green Deal.
It’s your attitude that increases your property value and not just your energy rating
We feel that there might well be another interpretation; it is not the higher rated EPC that is increasing the house price but rather, the higher EPC rating is a symptom of the real cause of the boost in value. The real cause, we think, is an overall better maintained and well presented home. Home owners that are more likely to better maintain their homes and who are going to ensure that is it presented in the best possible light when they come to sell it are much more likely to fit the energy saving measures which will improve the EPC rating of the house. In short, we would like to suggest that it is the efforts of a house proud homeowner rather than simply the energy efficiency of the property alone that is the cause of the value increases seen in this study.
Of course, this is simply a hypothesis, and because of the way the study was conducted (by comparing house prices retrospectively) it is impossible to see if the presentation and decoration was the actual reason for the increase in value. Even if it was, this is such a subjective thing it would be hard to quantify in a study convincingly.
Still, we do feel that there is a strong argument for this being the case, as we have probably all seen what the TV shows say about how to prepare your house to sell it for the highest possible price. Basically, if you have been house proud enough to keep on top of your decoration and maintenance, you will most probably have looked at making your home more energy efficient – and you’re probably highly likely to buy flowers before a viewing or bake bread!
Energy efficiency is part of a proud homeowner’s toolkit for increasing property value
If you’re looking at getting an energy saving measure installed in your home you can use our free online energy assessment to see which measure will work for your home and which will save you the most money.
Be safe in the knowledge that if you’re the kind of person making the effort to do this, the value of your home will most likely be being enhanced by you.