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Cov BS aims for mortgage portfolio to have average EPC C rating by 2040

  • 06/04/2023
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Cov BS aims for mortgage portfolio to have average EPC C rating by 2040
Coventry Building Society has set a target for its mortgage portfolio to have an average energy efficiency rating of C by 2040 as part of its net zero plan.

In its annual Sustainability Report, the mutual said it would work with the UK’s net zero plan to cut the emissions the group and its borrowers produce. This will be achieved through regulation and innovation, as well as the mutual’s own planned products. 

It said until 2040, it expected energy efficiency improvements to be driven by buy-to-let properties and through its share of lending to new builds which are typically more sustainable. 

The mutual will also help its borrowers to improve the efficiency of their homes by raising awareness of potential improvements and promoting its Green Together Reward which offers a £500 incentive to homeowners who make sustainable renovations. 

It said it would launch more products across 2023 and 2024 once it had more clarity from the government. 

As of September 2022, Coventry Building Society said of the 77 per cent properties in its portfolio which had an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), 34 per cent had a rating of A, B or C. This was a slight improvement on the 33 per cent share of efficient properties compared to the year before. 

It added: “EPCs, whilst not perfect, currently represent the best source of publicly available data on the energy efficiency of properties. This data is our starting point; we will continue to assess and use the best data possible, aligning with industry best practice, whilst recognising that this may change as and when more robust data sources become available.” 

Coventry Building Society said 97 per cent of its total emissions related to the houses it lends against, which made it “more challenging to reduce, requiring changes to borrowers’ homes and behaviour”. 


Cutting down on waste and emissions

Across other parts of the business, the mutual will encourage its employees to use public transport, reduce business travel, cut the waste it generates and switch its company car fleet to electric vehicles. 

It will also phase out its use of gas, reduce emissions across its supply chain by five to 25 per cent and invest in renewable energy by or before 2030. 

Steve Hughes, CEO of Coventry Building Society, said: “We will look to continue to support a consumer attitudinal shift on household emissions, through education, support and secured lending propositions that are targeted primarily at driving incremental change, resulting in reduced housing emissions that align to the broader Net Zero agenda.  

“We understand this will be a challenge as the largest part of our emissions footprint falls outside of our direct control; societal change remains critical to achieving our targets and to the achievement of the climate-related goals which 196 countries signed up to in the 2015 Paris Agreement.  

He added: “We need action from governments and regulators to create clear and fair rules for companies to make progress. But we must first lead by example. It is only by taking tangible actions that we can convince others to do the same. And it is only together that we can make a positive difference.” 

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