UCL Energy Institute


Nationwide leads research group on Green Mortgage lending with UCL-Energy as academic partner 

1 December 2015

Retrofit insights: perspectives for an emerging industry

Mortgage lenders, building industry experts, green energy academics and sustainability bodies have all joined forces to launch research into how to build a stronger link between energy costs, affordability and mortgage borrowing.

Sponsored by Nationwide Building Society, and marking the start of the UN Conference on Climate Change in Paris (COP 21), the LENDERs project will investigate the increased use of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), required on every home for sale.   The research will test the use of EPC data in estimating energy costs on individual homes and look at the potential to incorporate that estimate into the mortgage affordability calculation.  In turn, this may help encourage buyers towards homes with lower energy bills, and increase their willingness to invest in improving energy efficiency. Supported and part funded by Innovate UK, the research draws on the expertise of diverse groups with green credentials, including Principality Building Society, UK Green Building Council, Zero Carbon Hub, Constructing Excellence in Wales, BRE, Energy Saving Trust, Arup and University College London (UCL). 

Dr Ian Hamilton of the UCL Energy Institute, said: "Home owners need a way to realise the value of investing in the energy performance of their home. Energy performance certificates are one of the only ways buyers and sellers can reflect this investment in energy efficiency of their home. Improving EPCs to show how much people will actually spend heating their home will better inform buyers and lenders and can lead to a premium for more efficient homes."

The LENDERs project derives from two reports into construction, lending and energy efficiency. One was produced by BRE Wales and funded by Constructing Excellence Wales, while another piece of work was produced by UK GBC in partnership with UCL. Now a wider group is expanding on the earlier research to create a larger study into the feasibility of influencing property choices and lending practices through energy efficiency.

Founded in June 2009, the UCL Energy Institute (UCL-Energy) was established as UCL's response to the global challenges of mitigating climate change and providing energy security in the 21st century.

UCL-Energy, which sits within the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment at UCL, brings together different perspectives, understandings and procedures in energy research, transcending the boundaries between academic disciplines. It coordinates multidisciplinary teams from across the University, with the aim of accelerating the transition to a globally sustainable energy system through world-class energy research, education and policy support. www.ucl.ac.uk/energy Follow us on Twitter @UCL_Energy