The cost of bringing the EPC standard of all homes in Northern Ireland’s would exceed £2bn.
That’s according to a new report produced by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) on behalf of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE), which estimates that the cost of achieving an EPC rating C for the country’s housing stock would come in at £2.4bn.
Measures required to improve the energy efficiency of the 390,000 homes in Northern Ireland that currently have an EPC rating D or lower will cost an average of £6,200 per dwelling.
Doing so would produce average energy cost savings of £500 per year per home, as well as annual carbon dioxide savings of 3.2 tonnes, the report said.
Owner-occupied homes make up 72% of those below Band C, with 21% private rented and 7% in the social rented sector.
Improving the energy efficiency of the 26,000 eligible social-rented homes would come in at an estimated £100m, with an average per-unit cost of £2,900.
In comparison, the estimated per-unit cost for owner-occupied homes sits at £6,600, with a total sum of £1.9bn for the 281,000 eligible homes.
For the private-rented sector, 83,000 homes are estimated to need work to meet EPC C standards, at a total cost of £500m and an average per-unit spend of £5,900.
The UK government has set a target to get as many homes as possible up to Band C by 2035, with a specific 2030 target for social housing.
Achieving the higher Band B across Northern Ireland’s stock would mean works to around 586,000 homes at a price tag of £9.2bn, the BRE report found – that’s an average cost per home of £15,600.
Savings on energy bills would amount to £700 per year per household, while reducing the carbon output of each by 3.7 tonnes.
The report read: “Generally, traditional improvement measures, which focus on installing fabric insulation and upgrading heating systems, were sufficient to improve dwellings to an EER Band C.
“To reach the target Band B threshold, however, further measures were required in the majority of cases.
“Specifically, the installation of photovoltaic (PV) panels was essential in improving a significant proportion of the stock to Band B.”
The cost of raising all social homes in Northern Ireland to band B was pegged at £1bn, reflecting an average spend of £12,300 per upgrade.
There are currently around 82,000 social homes in Northern Ireland.
The BRE’s analysis is based on data gathered via the 2016 Northern Ireland Housing Condition Survey.
Image: Marina Lohrbach/Shutterstock
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