A property's energy rating should not be overlooked when buying a home if you want to save money.

Only one in 10 people consider a property’s energy rating when they are house hunting despite a poor rating potentially costing thousands of pounds a year, new research shows.

The survey of 2,000 Britons found that buyers prioritised other factors, such as local amenities, parking and good transport links. Green space was also regarded highly. But the highest priority was living near family, according to the findings published by construction and regeneration company Keepmoat.

Nigel Banks, sustainability director at Keepmoat, said: “For many households, energy bills are one of the biggest expenses and understanding how much energy a new house or flat will use, as well as what they can do to reduce these bills, can go a long way to reducing their outgoings.

“However, the results of our survey clearly show many people are not prioritising the energy efficiency rating of a property when moving home and this could well be a decision they regret when they get their first winter energy bills. People should try and consider the total cost of living in a home, including mortgage repayments or rents as well as bills.

“Buying a new home with a leading housebuilder such as Keepmoat can also mean a huge reduction in household bills - generally six times more energy efficient than older homes - and living in a new home can reduce gas and electricity bills by more than £500 per year.”

The energy efficiency rate of a home is found on the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) that is required whenever a property is bought, sold or rented. EPCs not only rate properties between A and G, but also include information on how much energy a property uses, typical energy costs and how to reduce energy usage.

The only factor considered less important by those surveyed was investment potential.

The results suggest that awareness of the importance of energy efficiency is low across all regions of Britain. However, Nottingham was home to the highest percentage of respondents who considered a good rating a priority when moving house at 16 per cent, while Edinburgh residents were least likely to rank energy efficiency as a priority at 4 per cent.

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