NEW PLANS aiming to remove barriers and drive retrofit energy efficiency measures in historic properties while protecting their historical features have been published by government.
Adapting Historic Homes for Energy Efficiency: A Review of the Barriers explores the challenges faced when retrofitting in conservation areas and listed buildings.
Currently, owners of home built before 1919 pay on average £428 a year more on energy bills. The review found planning was a major issue in particular the time it takes to get planning permission.
The review sets out a series of commitments to drive energy efficiency and low carbon heating improvements to listed buildings and buildings in conservation areas.
Minister for Housing and Communities, Baroness Penn said: “Our historic homes are the jewel in the crown of this country’s heritage and must be protected. This review will ensure they are preserved for future generations to enjoy, while also improve the lives of those who live in them by reducing their energy costs, supporting us in our shared goal to reach Net Zero by 2050.”
Almost half of all homes in England have an Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) rating of C or above, according to government figures. The review outlines plans to consult on the accuracy, reliability and trustworthiness of EPCs.
The review also proposes a consultation on new national development management policy specially for historic buildings. It recommends consulting on the greater use of Listed Building Consent Orders to support building improvements, removing the need to submit individual listed building consent applications.
Clearer guidance is provided for historic homeowners on improving energy efficiency and supporting the construction industry to better deliver retrofitting.
Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, said: “Historic England welcomes this Energy Efficiency Review and the positive actions it highlights. Historic buildings can and must accommodate change if they are to play a crucial role in helping the UK to transition to Net Zero.
The review has been developed in partnership with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Department for Energy Security and Net Zero and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, supported by Historic England.
In the British Energy Security Strategy, published April 2022, the Government committed to undertake a review of the practical planning barriers households can face when installing energy efficiency measures such as improved glazing in conservation areas and listed buildings.
Evidence collected during the review and feedback from stakeholders highlighted that barriers were wider than just the planning system. The scope of the review was broadened to examine a wider set of challenges to retrofitting historic homes, and to identify where further work is needed.