1.7 million homes cannot achieve C rating for energy efficiency

New analysis of Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) data has found that there are just under 1.7 million homes currently rated between D and G for energy efficiency that cannot be improved to reach a C rating.

The EPC study, from the UK’s biggest property website Rightmove, analysed the energy efficiency ratings of over 15 million homes.

Across England and Wales, 59% of homes have a D, E, F or G rating and there is the potential for this to be reduced to 11% of homes if recommended improvements were made.

The study found that there are estimated to be a further 11 million homes in England and Wales that do not yet have an Energy Performance Certificate rating, likely as they haven’t been sold or let out since the certificates were introduced.

Using the recommendations and national average costs on the government’s EPC website, Rightmove has outlined below five of the most cost-effective improvements that homeowners could make to boost the energy efficiency of their home.

The most common improvement that is recommended in EPCs is to install solar panels, although these will cost thousands of pounds. The second most common recommendation, mentioned in over five million EPCs, is to switch to use low energy lighting. This is one of the cheapest ways that can help improve energy efficiency.


Recommendation in EPC  

Average cost


Insulating hot water cylinder £23
Low energy lighting in all areas £38
Draughtproofing single glazed windows £100
Increasing loft insulation £223
Upgrading heating controls £400


Rightmove’s Director of Property Data Tim Bannister said: “It’s encouraging to see that there are some energy efficiency improvements that can cost less than £100, so it’s definitely worth checking your EPC if your home has one to see if there are small changes you could make to try and improve your rating. The bigger challenge is for those homes with much lower ratings that will cost a substantial amount of money to improve. There are a number of homeowners who don’t feel an urgent need to make changes now unless it makes a big difference to the cost of their household bills or if it’s going to make their home more attractive to a potential buyer if they’re planning to sell. It’s early days with some lenders now starting to introduce green mortgages as incentives, but homeowners need to be better informed that how green your home is will become increasingly important as we aim to move towards a net zero society, and they need more help to understand why making improvements are so important for the long term.”


Ten areas with the highest proportion of homes with an energy rating of D or below:

Local authority   

% of homes that currently have an EPC rating D or below


% of homes unable to meet EPC rating C


Gwynedd 77.4% 21.7%
Castle Point 77.2% 13.0%
Pendle 76.9% 12.8%
Denbighshire 74.6% 14.8%
Ceredigion 74.2% 17.3%
Hyndburn 74.2% 10.9%
Staffordshire Moorlands 73.8% 11.6%
Burnley 73.6% 9.8%
Blackpool 73.0% 10.4%
Southend-on-Sea 72.0% 19.2%


Ten areas with lowest proportion of homes with an energy rating of D or below:

Local authority   

% of homes that currently have an EPC rating D or below


% of homes unable to meet EPC rating C


Tower Hamlets 27.4% 8.3%
Hackney 39.2% 11.1%
Southwark 41.7% 12.9%
Salford 42.7% 7.4%
Milton Keynes 42.8% 5.7%
Islington 43.4% 14.1%
Greenwich 43.8% 10.7%
Corby 44.2% 5.9%
Peterborough 45.1% 6.1%
Dartford 46.2% 7.2%


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