UK-based Build to Rent provider, Sigma Capital Group Limited, which markets its homes under the private rental brand, Simple Life, has announced the findings of a study to compare the energy consumption of four of its core properties against homes of four other eras. The findings reveal that current Simple Life homes are 25% cheaper to run in comparison to properties built between 2007–2011, and as much as 74% cheaper than older homes.
Last month, research by Nationwide reported the impact of the anticipated energy price cap increase – effective from the 1 October 2022 – on properties of differing efficiencies, with the best rated (A–C) seeing an annual rise of almost £1,000, and the worst rated (F–G) £2,700 per year. Prime Minister Liz Truss has since announced a price cap freeze of £2,500 per year, but details of how this will vary between households is yet to be confirmed.
To support the findings of the study, Sigma conducted market research with renters across the UK to uncover attitudes towards sustainability in the home. 74% of people surveyed think it is important to factor in the energy efficiency of properties when looking for somewhere to rent, whilst 61% think having the specific energy efficiency features (insulation, glazed window, smart meters) installed is important to consider. Overall, the focus group revealed that renters worry that sustainable living and utilising these features will come at a higher cost rather than consider the potential money-saving benefits.
“No one is going to be immune to the soaring prices of energy this winter, so it was important for us to understand the comparative energy consumption of our homes. We chose to compare four of our homes to four different eras of homes, from those built in 1900 to those built in 2011. We chose these four eras as they demonstrated a change in efficiency, which, with the exception of the period properties, was driven by homes that adhered to changing building regulations over time.
“We are very pleased that the study revealed that the running costs were markedly in favour of our properties. Given the current upward movement in energy prices, we hope that our Simple Life residents can seek comfort in the data, knowing that their homes are operating at the most energy efficient level. We intend to continue to work with our residents to educate them on sustainability in the home, to help them understand how to make the most of the energy efficiency features and reap the financial rewards in the longer term.”Rob Sumner, Residential Investment Director, Sigma