Thousands of Northumberland homes 'not energy efficient'

Home energy efficiency fears. Picture: Adobe StockHome energy efficiency fears. Picture: Adobe Stock
Home energy efficiency fears. Picture: Adobe Stock
Thousands of homes in Northumberland have a low energy efficiency rating – as a looming fuel bill rises could see millions struggle to heat their houses.

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) show how effective a home is at keeping heat in, with ratings from A – the most efficient – to G – the least.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show 59% of homes in Northumberland had an EPC rating of Band D or below in 2020/21 – above the average in England, of 58%.

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Separate figures from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy show an estimated 20,640 households in the area experienced fuel poverty in 2019 – the latest statistics available.

A household is considered to be fuel poor if they live in a property with low energy efficiency and would be pushed below the poverty line by housing costs.

The figures come after Ofgem announced the energy price cap will rise to a record £1,971 – with around 22 million households nationally seeing annual rises of around £700 from April.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £200 rebate on energy bills, which will have to be paid back, and a £150 reduction in council tax for properties up to Band D.

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The Energy Saving Trust described the price cap rise as "extremely worrying".

Mike Thornton, chief executive of the organisation, added: "As well as the need for immediate action and short-term support, the current crisis emphasises the importance of improving the energy efficiency of the UK’s housing stock in the long-term."