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One size doesn’t fit all; why brokers are fundamental to progressing the green agenda – Stinton

by: Jonathan Stinton, head of intermediary relationships at Coventry for intermediaries
  • 24/05/2023
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One size doesn’t fit all; why brokers are fundamental to progressing the green agenda – Stinton
With 21 per cent of the UK’s carbon emissions coming from residential homes, promoting and progressing the green agenda in the housing market is critical to the government meeting its net zero 2050 target.

We’ll likely see more and more legislation encouraging this shift, and it will be brokers that consumers look to to get the information they need. As such, they will need to be fully up to date on the latest legislation and support schemes in order to provide tailored advice on the green solutions most suited to clients’ individual circumstances.  


  • What’s the latest government regulation and who does it affect? 

With an estimated 59 per cent of property in England and Wales having an EPC rating of D or below, the government has proposed regulation raising minimum EPC rating requirements on rented houses to B and C for new and existing tenancies. Over two-fifths of landlords are unaware of upcoming EPC regulation changes. Brokers will be a valuable source of education, raising customers’ awareness of new green regulations and how they could affect them. 


  • Which green improvements are most effective and valuable? 

Making energy efficiency improvements can be costly, but even small changes can have a big impact. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that fitting a hot water cylinder with an insulating jacket could save the average home £70 on their heating bill. That might not seem like much, but more importantly it could cut around 155kg of CO2 emissions a year, helping a property to pass proposed EPC criteria. 

If clients want to have the biggest impact though, they need to consider alternative energy sources. While more expensive at the outset, solar panels and air or ground source heat pumps can help create a carbon neutral home for the long-term. Installing a ground source heat pump could cost as much as £19,000, but save an average of £1,000 on an energy bill per year.  


  • What support is available from the government and lenders? 

The cost of making eco-friendly home improvements could add up, especially for landlords with multiple properties to upgrade. The good news is that there is a variety of green solutions and schemes now available to help clients fund changes, including government grants and green mortgages. 

The Energy Company Obligation and the Great British Insulation Scheme are available for low-income and vulnerable households, while some lenders started launching green products and incentives to reduce costs for homeowners.  

The Green Finance Institute (GFI) states that there are now over 50 such products, up from just four in 2019. Rachael Hunnisett, green mortgage campaign lead at GFI, reiterates the importance of these products as “private finance has a crucial role to play in decarbonising the UK’s housing stock, with mortgages a vital source of finance” for those looking to do so.   

With new green products and regulation expected to shape the housing industry in the coming years, brokers will be fundamental in helping clients understand which solutions are available to them, and what initiative would be the best fit for their circumstances.   

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