Are New Homes More Energy Efficient?

New home vs older property — it’s a decision many of us have to make in the search for a place to live.

As you weigh up the pros and cons, you may consider how energy-efficient your home is likely to be, as well as what this means for you and the environment. Typically, new homes are more energy efficient in terms of heating, lighting, and appliances than traditional properties.

Meticulous planning and advanced building techniques enable newer properties to use energy more efficiently. For example, our new build homes have thicker walls, high-quality windows, and better insulation than traditional properties. This gives them the edge in energy efficiency. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) states property age is the single biggest factor for energy-efficient homes — with newer homes usually achieving a better energy efficiency rating.

This, combined with safety, modernity, and community means there are many benefits to buying a new build home.

How Much More Energy Efficient Are New Homes?

New build homes tend to be more energy efficient for heating, lighting, and appliances — but to what extent?

A report released by the Home Builders Federation (HBF) revealed that the energy usage of a traditional house was 21,621 kWh (kilowatt hours). In comparison, a new house had an average energy usage of 9,094 kWh — less than half of that recorded for an older property.

While this research only accounts for houses, there are reasons to believe that many new homes are more energy-efficient than older properties.

For instance, the median home energy efficiency rating in England and Wales was band D in 2022. With a focus on sustainable initiatives, 94% of our new build homes have an EPC (energy performance certificate) of band B or above in 2023 — two tiers higher than the national average.

How Do We Build Energy-Efficient New Homes? 5 Key Features

As part of our climate action plan, there are several ways we’re improving the energy efficiency of our new build homes.

1. Fabric Efficiency

By taking a ‘fabric-first’ approach, we can ensure our new build homes can deliver better energy efficiency.

Roof and floor insulation, to high performing windows and glazing, and air-tight structures prevent heat loss within the property. This means that less energy is needed to heat the home, which helps to reduce overall energy consumption.

Living area with a mixed colour design

2. Modern Heating Systems

Unlike traditional heating systems, such as a conventional boiler, many of our homes are heated using CHP (combined heat and power). CHPs can generate heat and power at the same time, which can cut carbon emissions by up to 30% compared to a conventional boiler.

Heat pumps are another way to heat the home — extracting air from the outside to create fresh, warm air inside. According to EDF, heat pumps are capable of reducing carbon emissions by 23 tonnes over 10 years, which is why we have started to implement them in some of our developments.

Bedroom with a dark grey design

3. LED Lighting

The type of lighting included in our new homes can also be more energy-efficient than traditional properties.

Unlike conventional forms of lighting such as incandescent bulbs, LEDs emit less heat when they create light. Which means LEDs use less energy to generate the same lighting levels of traditional incandescent bulbs.

Kitchen with a grey design and white marble worktops

4. Low-Energy Appliances

Most appliances need energy, to function. That’s why we equip our homes with everyday appliances that reduce energy consumption, without compromising on quality.

Typical energy efficiency ratings for our appliances are:

  • Washing machines - C
  • Washer-dryers - E
  • Dishwashers - E
  • Fridges and freezers - F
  • Wine storage - F

White design bathroom

5. Water-Efficient Fixtures and Fittings

The process of heating or using drinking water increases energy usage within the home.

As a result, our homes have been designed with hassle-free ways to reduce water consumption. Water-efficient taps, showers, and dual-flush toilets are just some of the key ways our new homes conserve water and reduce overall energy consumption.

Sustainable Housing That Benefits You, Inside and Out

It’s not just our pledge to more sustainable new homes that benefit the environment — it’s our commitment to the surrounding areas too.

From solar panels on our apartment buildings to power communal areas, to our on-site electric charging stations (selected developments) — we’re taking the necessary steps towards Our Vision 2030.

Plus, with 86% of our completed developments built on brownfield sites, we focus on building strong communities. This includes establishing walking and cycling routes, as well as strengthening transport networks to reduce reliance on cars. Modern, stylish, and more energy-efficient than many older properties — our new build homes are perfect for first-time buyers or family-home buyers — like Mike and Sarah.

Find a new build home near you or register your interest in a upcoming development today.