How Green is my Street?

Article, Energy & Housing

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Which are the greenest streets in Steyning, Bramber & Beeding?

We think of our community as a pretty green place.  But when it comes to the energy efficiency of our homes:

  • How green is my town?
  • How green is my street?
  • How green in my home?

This video tries to answer these questions using the latest figures from the government’s EPC database.  It shows there is a big variation between different streets and different houses.  The big message is there is huge room for improvement!

Take a look at the video, and read on to learn more about your street, and your home. 

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What the figures show

An Energy Performance Certificate, or EPC, shows how energy efficient your home is, with A the best and G the worst. The government says we need to upgrade all homes to an EPC of C or better in the next 10-15 years if we are to meet our national carbon reduction targets.

Our analysis shows that:

  • Only a third of homes in Steyning Bramber & Upper Beeding have an EPC rating of C or better. This means that a worrying two thirds are rated D or worse.

  • This is worse than the national average and means there is a lot of work to be done in improving the energy efficiency of our homes.

  • Fairs Field and College Hill come top of the list as the “greenest streets” in Steyning. Both have large new developments so it’s not surprising to see them scoring well.

  • It’s interesting to see other more mixed-age streets like Toomey Road and Tanyard Lane are also in the top ten. It’s a sign that homeowners have taken active steps to improve their properties.

  • If you look at the least energy efficient streets, it’s easy to understand why historic Church Street comes lowest on the list.

  • But it’s more surprising to see more recently-built streets like Breach Close and Kings Stone Ave in the bottom ten.

  • What is striking is how wide the differences are between properties, even neighbouring houses of a similar vintage. This shows that people are making a real difference by insulating their homes and taking other energy saving steps.

    • EPC Certificates show potential energy ratings, too, and even in our worst performing streets the vast majority of houses could achieve a C rating or better.

    • So there are big gains to be made by taking energy efficiency seriously!

    Take a closer look at the data

    The two pie charts below show the breakdown of current EPC ratings or homes in our area, and the potential ratings if the recommended energy saving steps were taken.  There’s a huge difference.  Nearly every property could be at least B or C rated if they took the necessary steps.

    current pie final

    future pie final

    Street-by-Street Rankings

    The bar chart below ranks streets based on what proportion of homes have an EPC rating of C or better.  The most energy efficient streets are at the top, the least efficient are at the bottom.

    The blue bars show the current ratings.  The green bars show the potential ratings if all the recommended energy-saving steps were taken.  There’s a big difference!

    current & potential

    Note that not every street is included in the graph;  only those where there are data for at least 10 homes.  To see more detailed street-by-street data for every street in Steyning, Bramber & Beeding, you can take a look at this table.   You may need a magnifying glass – there are over 140 streets listed!

     

    What about my house?

    To see if there is an EPC certificate for your house, you can go direct to the government database and check.  Just CLICK THIS LINK put in your postcode and see what comes up.

     

    What do I do next?

    If your home needs some work to bring it up to scratch, we may be able to help in pointing you in the right direction.   Take a look at the information resources on Energy and Homes section of this website.  In particular:

    I want a warmer, greener home: where do I start?

    Getting help with home energy improvements

    Green homes guide on insulation

    Case Study: Installing an air sourced heat pump

     Saving energy at home:  Ask the experts session

     

    Acknowledgements

    A special thanks to Phil Birch for his expert help in editing the video, and Nick Mills from Graves Son & Pilcher for the fantastic drone footage.

     

    Some notes on the data 

    1) Where do these figures come from?  The analysis presented here all come from publically-available government figures that allow you search the national EPC database by postcode or by street

    2) How recent are they?  Figures are for September 2020.

    3) How many properties are covered?  Not every home has an EPC certificate.  Getting one done is now mandatory if you want to sell your home, and it’s also needed to apply some government home improvement grants.  At present, 2299 properties in Steyning, Bramber & Upper Beeding have certificates listed on the database, which is around 46% of the total number of households in the area.  So the figures shown are representative, if not totally comprehensive.

    4) Is it up to date?  The EPC data is not entirely up to date.  Some of the EPC records shown date back 10 or more years.  This means they do not reflect any changes or improvements made since then.  So if your home has had insulation or solar panels installed since you had an EPC done, for example, this won’t show up. The current reality is probably slightly better than the numbers suggest.

    5) Which streets are included in the charts:  Not every street is include in the charts.  We have selected those that have at least 10 EPC records, so the data is not too skewed by one or two homes.  

    6) My house is listed more than once.  Some houses list multiple EPC records indicating that several assessments have been done in the last 10 years.  For the analysis here we have taken only the most recent data, and ignored earlier figures.

    7) What are some of the limitations on EPC certificates?  EPC certificates are approximations, so are not an entirely accurate measure of how energy efficient your home is.  They use a standard methodology to calculate heat losses that relates to the fabric of the building – the type of boiler you have, the level of insulation, etc. – rather than how you actually use you house.  Different assessors will also rate building slighly differently.  So it is indicative rather than definitive.  Here’s a useful article from Changeworks that explains more on the ins and outs.

     

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