Energy Saving Guidance for Older Buildings

Published: 01/01/2023 By Richard Mogg

Proud as you might be to live in a Listed or historic property, doing so often comes with high running costs. Richard Mogg of Symonds & Sampson’s Survey & Design department has reviewed energy-saving guidance for older buildings recently released by Historic England.

Photograph - The iconic Grade II Listed Deheers building on the harbourside in Weymouth, designed and converted to the highest specification by DJ Property and sold through our Poundbury Office.
The report is based on evidence that has been gathered from the Listed Building Owners and Occupiers Survey undertaken by BMG Research, and YouGov research into the views of people living in listed buildings and non-listed traditionally built properties built more than 100 years ago.  

Research revealed that

  • 89% of residents are proud to live in a listed building and look after their homes
  • 27% of people living in older properties have already made changes to their property to reduce its energy and carbon usage.
  • A further 42% would like to make these changes
  • 90% of those surveyed are committed to addressing climate change and energy - most having already installed low-energy lighting and thermostats to boilers and radiators
  • 23% of owners and occupiers find keeping warm in winter difficult, and of those
  • 45% are concerned about the cost of making changes, and
  • 33% are concerned about the perceived complexity of retrofitting and
  • 54% suggest it would be difficult to find reliable guidance and information about how to retrofit their home – an area where Symonds & Sampson’s surveyors can assist.
Speaking of the findings, 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 help but there is much more to do to provide the information that people need to make these changes to their homes”

Building Surveyor Richard Mogg agrees. “Finding a way to improve the efficiency of a listed building can seem daunting. On the one hand, you want to preserve the heritage of property for future generations, whilst on the other hand, living more sustainably and – particularly in the current economic climate - efficiently is at the forefront of our minds. There are steps that can be taken to improve the efficiency of older homes, some of which can be carried out without the need for planning permission, and we are only too pleased to visit your property to discuss steps that can be taken”.  

Richard and his colleagues within Symonds & Sampson’s specialist Survey & Design Department can help identify steps that can be taken, consents required, and even oversee the project if you so wish.  For first-hand advice on how to address the efficiency of your home, please call them on 01202 882103.