Historic England Refreshes Energy Saving Guidance for Older Buildings
Historic England has launched refreshed web guidance on how to adapt older buildings sympathetically to be warm and comfortable, leading to savings for householders on their fuel bills. This follows evidence from detailed surveys of the needs of people living in older buildings, including listed buildings and non-listed traditionally-built properties.
The changes to the Your Home section of the Historic England website have made it easier for people to find detailed advice on how best to retrofit their older homes and advice on quicker fixes and affordability.
This guidance will help to address concerns and potential barriers to retrofitting older properties highlighted in the Listed Building Owners and Occupiers Survey undertaken by BMG Research, and YouGov research into the views of people living in buildings built more than 100 years ago, whether or not their building is listed.
The refreshed web pages also aim to address common myths about adapting older homes, such as clarifying the energy efficiency changes you can make to homes in conservation areas without planning permission.
Research conducted by BMG Research revealed that residents are proud to live in a listed building and look after their homes (89%) and that tackling climate change and energy use are at the forefront of residents’ minds (90%) with most having already installed low energy lighting, boiler and radiator thermostats. Maintaining buildings helps prolong their life and is the first step in making them energy efficient.
The Listed Building Owners and Occupiers Survey also found that just under a quarter (23%) of listed building owners and occupiers find keeping warm in winter is difficult.
Barriers to making changes to properties included upfront costs (45%) and the perceived complexity of retrofitting (33%), with 54% saying it would be difficult to find reliable guidance and information about how to retrofit their home.
However, YouGov research shows that people are already taking action. For people living in older properties, 27% had already made changes to their property to reduce its energy and carbon usage. A further 42% would like to make these changes.
More to do
Catherine Dewar, Historic England’s Climate Change Programme Director, said: “People living in older properties – whether they are listed or not – are rightly proud of their home’s heritage, but they have told us that they need more advice on how to keep warm and comfortable in an affordable way, and play their part in getting to Net Zero by 2050. Our refreshed website guidance will really help but there is much more to do to provide the information that people need to make these changes to their homes.
Catherine continued: “Historic buildings can, and should, be adapted to respond to a changing climate whilst keeping the qualities that make them special. Heritage is part of the solution in the global fight to limit climate change and its impact on people and places. At Historic England we’re working hard to help people to live more sustainably and adapt to a changing climate, while conserving our irreplaceable heritage for future generations.”
Historic England’s Heritage and Climate Change Strategy includes a commitment to promoting and supporting the reuse of historic buildings as one of the most effective ways to reduce carbon emissions, improving quality of life and nurturing the skills needed for a green economy.