Climate change and the cost of living are making energy efficiency a priority for new-build buyers, but many people underestimate how much money you can save with a greener home.

New research shows that the cost of living and climate change are creating new priorities for home buyers.

This is particularly the case for new-build buyers, who are prioritising energy efficiency in their buying decision.

And while new-build buyers are driving the green home movement, almost half of buyers of older homes still see energy efficiency as important.
High EPC ratings top of the wishlist for new-build buyers

Energy efficiency is now a high priority for those who bought or intend to buy a new-build home.

More than two-thirds of new-build buyers (69%) said EPC ratings were either extremely or very important to them.

The energy efficiency of new-builds is a growing attraction for buyers. More than 80% of new-builds have an energy efficiency rating of A or B, compared to just 3% of older homes.

“Rising energy costs and greater awareness of climate change are starting to have greater influence on home buying decisions,” said Richard Donnell, Research Director at Zoopla.

“The energy efficiency of new homes and the lower running costs is a recognised attraction for would-be buyers compared to those looking for a home in the resale market.”
You can save up to 52% on your energy bills with a new-build home

We’ve taken a look at the government’s EPC data, and you can save a huge amount by moving to a home with a higher EPC rating.

New-builds offer up to 52% lower running costs over a year compared to a similar-sized older property.

The average carbon output of a new home also comes in at under a third of that from an older home (1.4 tonnes vs 3.8 tonnes per year).

Other research has found similar energy savings for new-build owners.

New-build owners save an average of £629 a year on energy bills, according to the Homes Builders Federation.

But lots of people don’t realise how much you can save by moving to a new-build home.

When asked to estimate how much money a new-build could save you on energy bills over a year, 6 in 10 respondents thought it would be less than 52%.

And a third of people thought you’d only save 20% on energy bills in a new-build compared to a similar older home.
Buyers care about the environmental impact of building a new home

New-build buyers are also conscious of the environmental impact of building a new home.

Three quarters (74%) of new home buyers said it was important that their home is built with minimal impact on the environment.
What’s next in the green home movement?

This is just the start of decarbonising the housing market and reducing emissions from UK homes.

The introduction of new government regulations has seen an increase in the energy efficiency requirements of new homes.

The Future Homes and Buildings Standard ensures that new homes built from 2025 will produce 75-80% less carbon emissions than those delivered under current regulations.

This will mean massive energy savings for homeowners.

While buyers of older homes are less concerned about the energy efficiency of their home at the moment, 2 in 5 (41%) still said it’s important to them.

“We expect the importance of energy efficiency to increase further as the Government continues to roll out further policies,” said Richard Donnell.

“The new homes market and the private rented sector are the big focus areas for policymakers at present.”

“Rising energy costs will only serve to increase the importance of energy efficiency and running costs of homes as part of home moving decisions.”

Surveyed 2,615 people between 28 February 2022 and 10 March 2022. Respondents had either bought a home in the last 18 months or intend to buy one over the next 18 months.

Key takeaways

  • Rising living costs and growing climate change concerns are creating new priorities for home buyers
  • Nearly 70% of new-build buyers say energy efficiency is an extremely or very important factor in their home
  • New-builds can save you 52% on energy costs over a year – but most people think it’s less