On the path to net zero, and as part of Net Zero Week, the Home Builders Federation (HBF) recently published their July ‘Watt a Save’ report showcasing how much homeowners could be saving when they invest in a new build home. And with 50 years of experience and a number of developments across London and the South East, Durkan is the perfect partner for ﬁnding your next home.
But between energy efficiency and the reduction of emissions overall, are new build houses really more energy efficient and just how much could buyers potentially save on the whole?
HBF report summary: running costs, energy bills and savings
Overall, a huge ﬁgure here is that the home building industry reduced household carbon emissions by 500,000 tonnes in 2022 – that’s more than £400 million saved in energy costs.
Last year, the sharp rise in energy costs set off alarm bells for millions of households across the UK. Concerning for some and frightening for others, a major topic of discussion nationwide took place around different ways to save energy or make it more efficient. From the ﬁgures put forward, the efficiency of new builds, as opposed to older properties, is clear.
When looking outside the home, especially for people looking to cut down their carbon footprint further, all of Durkan’s developments offer excellent transport links for commuters, whether driving, cycling or getting the train. That’s less than a mile to the train station for Wintringham in St Neots, Hatﬁeld East and Granary & Chapel, and a literal stone’s throw to Kennington Tube Station for Manor & Braganza.
The average day-to-day running of new build homes shows distinct improvement, using over 55% less energy a year. To put this into perspective, this comes from a recorded average usage of 21,040 kWh dropping down to 9,414 kWh, resulting in less energy used per m2. And this is the same ﬁnding across all property types. New build homes are also rated consistently higher in their EPCs than older builds, with 85% of new builds ranking A or B for energy performance, as opposed to the previous UK average of EPC level D.
The average new build home saves buyers £135 a month on energy bills, summing up to as much as £1,600 per year under Ofgem’s new price cap. When looking at houses, as opposed to ﬂats or bungalows, this rises to over £180 a month and £2,200 a year. When looking at older properties, on average these could cost nearly £3,000 to run per year, while the average new build costs £1,317 – a pretty notable difference.
Despite reduced bills and better EPCs, homebuyers are still being assessed for affordability against the same criteria as those buying older properties. And with projections on annual expenditure taken from national averages, rather than looking at the true costs of the purchased property, HBF has ﬂagged a real missed opportunity for mortgage lenders to offer ﬁnancial incentives for environmentally beneﬁcial and energy-saving choices.
Are new houses more energy efficient?
With the data gathered, signs point to ‘yes’, as well as resulting in a drop in carbon emissions, with a bit of a caveat. Energy usage can only be as efficient as the person using it. By practicing good habits to limit energy waste, like switching off lights in an unused room, turning devices off instead of leaving them on standby or closing windows when using the heating, homeowners who invest in new build houses should see positive savings per month or year compared to older, less efficient housing.
Encouraging still, as homebuilders progress towards the Future Homes Standard (which should be in place by 2025), energy bills for the average new build home are estimated to be cut by as much as 70% compared to older properties.
As a house builder, Durkan remains committed to managing resources and minimising its environmental impact, as well as using sustainable practices, products and materials. Take a look at our developments today to see if one of our new houses can be your new home.