Invest in a new-build to cover the cost of your daily Starbucks

 

Fuel costs have increased by around 36% over the past 10 years, but new data reveals you could save £629 a year if you own a new-build property.

New homes today are significantly more energy-efficient than they used to be, with Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) data showing that 84.4% of newly built properties are A- or B-rated for efficiency, compared to just 2.2% of existing houses.

Those who own new-builds are paying an average of £443.30 a year on heating, hot water and lighting, according to a report from Home Builders Federation (HBF). Meanwhile, owners of older homes are paying an average of £1,072.

The report equates the savings – of almost £700 a year – to a year’s worth of Starbucks lattes, the cost of a mobile phone and home broadband contract, and an off-peak return flight to New Zealand. It would also cover the cost of three and a half weeks of an average mortgage.

What is an EPC?

Every domestic or commercial building in the UK is required to have an Energy Performance Certificate to show how energy-efficient it is. The top score is A (very efficient), and the lowest score is G (inefficient). The certificate gives the occupant an idea of how expensive the fuel bills might be, as well as its carbon dioxide emissions.

The scheme was first introduced in 2006, and earlier this year the government confirmed that the current EU energy efficiency laws would remain after Brexit.

Stewart Baseley, HBF’s executive chairman, said: “Today’s new homes are significantly more energy efficient than their predecessors, delivering huge benefits both for their owners and the environment. Owners are saving hundreds of pounds a year in energy bills due to the modern design of their homes and the materials used to construct them.

“With energy bills expected to increase further, households will continue to reap the financial rewards in the future allowing families to spend more of their money on the things they want instead of simply keeping warm. With house builders’ ongoing investment in innovation, it is clear that the industry is committed to driving yet more savings for homeowners.”

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First-time benefits

The idea of lower bills will be particularly appealing to first-time buyers who are facing the high cost of buying a home and keeping up with mortgage payments. The fact that a new-build needs very little maintenance compared to an older property is a further attraction.

Another plus-point for many is the environmental impact. New-builds are estimated to use around 103kWh/m2 on average, compared to 294kWh/m2 for older homes, meaning lower emissions and a smaller carbon footprint.

However, for those who aren’t in a position to buy a new-build property, price comparison website uSwitch has come up with a list of ways you can cut your energy bills. It suggests measures such as turning your thermostat down by 1 degree, turning the pressure down on the shower, cooking food in batches, and leaving the oven door open after cooking to warm up your home.

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