Energy crisis: 60% of all homes in England have low energy efficiency ratings

More than 12.6 million homes have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of D or lower in England

Millions of homes in England have low energy efficiency ratingsMillions of homes in England have low energy efficiency ratings
Millions of homes in England have low energy efficiency ratings

Millions of homes in England have low energy efficiency ratings, leaving them vulnerable to higher bills when the energy price cap rises in April – with those in the North and Midlands worst affected.

NationalWorld analysis of data from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities shows more than 12.6 million homes have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of D or lower, representing 60% of all homes in the country.

EPCs run from A (the most energy efficient with the lowest running costs) to G (the least efficient with the highest running costs).

With the energy price cap set to rise 54% in April, homes with EPCs of D to G will likely be hardest hit.

The Government said it wants all homes to meet a minimum standard of C by 2035 but currently only 40% of the country meets that standard.

Fewer than 40,000 homes in England have an EPC rating of A, representing just 0.2% of the country, while 8.4 million have a B or C rating.


The figures are based on the number of EPCs lodged on the Energy Performance of Buildings Register for dwellings in England.

It does not include every single home in the country as a property is only given an EPC rating when it is constructed, sold or let. The main purpose of an EPC is to show how much energy the property will use, how environmentally friendly it is and, importantly, how much energy bills will cost.

Where are the coldest homes in England?

The Isles of Scilly has the greatest proportion of homes with low energy efficiency ratings. Based on the proportion of EPC lodgements D and below, 758 or 85.1% are rated D or below. This is followed by Blackpool where 77.3% of EPC lodgements for homes are D or below and Essex’s Castle Point with 77.1%.


At a regional level, Yorkshire and The Humber has the greatest proportion of homes with low energy efficiency ratings. The region has 1.4 million homes with a band D or below representing 65% of all homes on the register.

This is followed by the West Midlands which has 64% of its homes with ratings D to G and the North West and East Midlands both with 62%.

Overall, 63% of homes in the northern and midlands regions were rated D to G compared to 55% in London and 58% in the rest of the South.


Having an EPC A or B means very high levels of insulation. It is not cheap to achieve this – upgrading windows, fitting insulation and investing in a heat pump to improve efficiency can cost thousands.

The Government recently announced that 20,000 social housing properties in England with an EPC of D or lower would receive energy efficiency upgrades through a £179 million pot of funding.

While the DLUHC’s EPC data does not differentiate between private and social housing, those 20,000 social homes would only represent 0.2% of all 12.6 million homes with a rating of D or lower.

Last year we exclusively revealed that No 10 Downing Street had  a below average energy rating score and used no clean fuel, a revelation that drew criticism from Insulate Britain.

What needs to be done to insulate homes across England?

Campaigners from National Energy Action say the government has not done enough to better insulate homes in England, arguing that the country has been more exposed to the energy crisis due to having the least efficient housing in Europe.

Peter Smith, director of policy and advocacy, said: “This means we use much more energy than needed as heat escapes through roofs, walls and windows. Come April, with the massive increase to the energy cap, the need for better insulated homes will be even greater.

“Significant investment in energy efficiency in low income homes was promised in the 2019 Conservative manifesto yet almost half of it has not yet materialised. This targeted investment for those households in the deepest fuel poverty is desperately needed if we are to reduce fuel poverty as well as hit our net zero target.”

The Conservative 2019 manifesto pledged to help lower energy bills by investing £9.2 billion in the energy efficiency of homes, schools and hospitals.

Mr Smith added that the Government needs to extend the current Private Rented Sector energy efficiency standards.

Currently privately rented domestic properties must have an EPC rating of at least an E but a consultation was launched in 2020 to strengthen this to a C by 2028.

What is the Government doing to help people insulate their homes?

The Government said all homes will meet a minimum standard of a C grade EPC rating by 2035.

A spokesperson said: "Improving the energy efficiency of our homes is the best long-term method to keep household energy costs down and to tackle fuel poverty.

“That is why we are upgrading the energy efficiency of England’s homes by investing over £6.6bn billion to decarbonise homes and buildings and bringing in higher minimum performance standards to ensure all homes meet EPC Band C by 2035.”

The Government said it is expanding the Energy Company Obligation to £1 billion per year, which will help 305,000 families, including those in social housing with green measures such as insulation, with average energy bill savings of around £300 a year.

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