10% of new homes do not meet the energy efficiency requirements laid out by the government, according to the latest official figures. Since April 2008, all new homes have required an Energy Performance Certificate, and of the 300,000 built, about 30,000 do not meet those heating, lighting and draught proofing standards.
Although some people are sceptical about the figures, this is still shocking news. Firstly, there is a legal requirement for builders and developers to meet these standards to help bring carbon emissions down and reduce our impact on the climate. Secondly, the poor owners who move in are then faced with paying an increased rate for their utility bills than they should have to. And you can bet the builders won’t pick up the tab!
I do what I can to insulate our home, stop draughts and keep electricity and gas use to a minimum. And if it gets cold, I put on another jumper and get the kids to pedal faster on the dynamo before turning the heating up. It helps that I am naturally tight fisted, but I feel pity for those who expect to pay low bills and not warm up the outdoors and still find themselves digging deeper into their pockets.
The good news is that the government announced recently that in future new homes would have to be 25% more energy efficient than existing rules stipulate. Good, as long as the developers stick to the law!