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Energy efficiency is at the forefront of most home owners these days, but it turns out that a newer home doesn't always come with the certainty of a better energy rating. New research reveals that, shockingly, some newly built flats in the UK have an energy rating far below the average energy efficiency performance expected for dwellings of that type, meaning higher energy bills.
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The UK region with the worst energy rating for new build flats
A study by heating experts Boiler Central (opens in new tab) has found that the highest median Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) score for new flats is just 59.5 in North Lincolnshire, and 60 in North East Lincolnshire, which gives them both a D rating. The overall picture of energy ratings across Great Britain was much more encouraging. Out of 330 areas in England and Wales that were included in the analysis of the latest ONS figures, 261 have a highest median EPC score of 81 or above for new build flats – good enough for a B rating.
The local authorities in Lincolnshire are two of just eight areas where the highest median EPC score for new flats falls below 68, which results in a D rating. The new-build flats are rated even lower than existing flats in the areas, with North Lincolnshire’s older flats receiving a median score of 69, and North East Lincolnshire’s highest median score for existing flats coming in at 68.
Other areas with poor energy ratings
It is important to stress that the problem is with flats, not houses. Newly built houses don’t have the same problem – North Lincolnshire’s newest houses have the highest median score of 83, while in North East Lincolnshire the score is 84. Both comfortably qualify for a B rating on the EPC.
Lincolnshire isn't the only area in England where new-build flats have a poor energy rating. The other areas where newly built flats have an EPC rating of D include Harlow in Essex, where the highest median score is just 61, and Erewash in Derbyshire, where the score is 62.
New flats in North Kesteven in the East Midlands have a highest median EPC score of 65, while similar properties in Ipswich, Bolsover in the East Midlands, and the County of Herefordshire in the West Midlands all score 67 all only good enough for a D rating. Commenting on the results, energy experts from Boiler Central said: 'Typically, new flats and houses are much more energy-efficient than existing stock, and the majority qualify for a B rating on their Energy Performance Certificate.'
;So it’s surprising to see some areas with considerably lower scores – someone buying a new flat definitely wouldn’t expect it to be less energy efficient than one built 50 years ago.'
This issue highlights the importance of knowing exactly what you are buying, especially if you are a first-time buyer looking at new-build flats.
Always read the small print and demand full access to all the technical information about a property. A D-rated flat will cost you significantly more in energy bills than a B-rated more; you really don't want that expense added to your mortgage and other outgoings.
Anna Cottrell is Consumer Editor across Future's home brands. She moved to the world of interiors from academic research in the field of English Literature and photography. She is the author of London Writing of the 1930s and has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening.
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