Across the UK, people are increasingly considering going green. In response, an additional category for ‘Going Green’ has been added to our latest index, to help anyone looking for the best places for green living in 2022.
Sustainability, climate change and energy efficiency were all catapulted into the wider public consciousness like never before over the last 12 months.
Whether the motivation is with future generations in mind or perhaps in part to combat rising energy prices, there are various elements that sit under this umbrella term, which we explore further here.
An analysis of proximity to publicly accessible Electric Vehicle Charging Points (EVCP), energy efficiency in our homes and access to alternative ‘green’ forms of transport have enabled us to highlight which locations are rising to the challenge and topping the league in the green revolution.
Following the announcement by the government during the UN COP26 summit last November that the sale of new diesel and petrol cars will be banned from 2030, one of the biggest societal shifts in 2021 has been the surge in demand for, and ownership of, electric vehicles.
Availability of, and accessibility to, Electric Vehicle Charge Points is set to rise up the agenda.
While the provision of an EVCP will be standard for all new homes with a dedicated parking space from this June, the rollout of public EVCPs is also going to gather pace.
The number of public charging locations across the UK quadrupled between 2018-2021.
With private points included, the government is seeking to increase the grid of charge points by over 145,000 per year.
There are over 33 million registered cars in the UK, over one-third of households own more than one vehicle (Department of Transport, ONS, 2021), with recent research indicating 44% of drivers are set to switch to all-electric by 2031 (OPN, ONS 2021).
The Climate Change Commission estimate that 325,000 public charging points will be needed to support a fleet of 23.2 million electric cars across the UK by 2032.
Many households are not currently within five minutes of a public EVCP; however, investment and expansion of this network will undoubtedly cause changes to how localities rate on this feature in future editions.
Green Mortgage products, first introduced over a decade ago, are on the rise and are set to become more mainstream.
Such mortgages reward owners for owning an energy-efficient (A or B rated) home, either through favourable interest rate terms, via cashback on approval, or allow for a favourable rate on energy-saving home improvements.
Across England and Wales, less than 1 in 10 of all homes sold over the past year have been energy rated ‘A’ or ‘B’, the proportion highest across the East Midlands and South West.
While most new build properties make the grade, the proportion is just one in every 14 for re-sale properties, although close to 63% of those currently rated ‘C’ or ‘D’ have the potential to reach the grade.
Here, the reward can be financial: ‘A’ or ’B’ rated re-sale homes sell with a price premium equivalent to £14,784 on an average-sized (1,500sqft) home.
Based on properties sold over the past year, in over 50 locations across England, Wales and Scotland one in five properties sold were ‘A’ or ‘B’ rated homes (Dataloft, Land Registry, based on sales over the past 12 months).
Finally, our ‘Going Green’ credentials also analysed the availability of publicly accessible cycle routes.
With a societal shift towards more sustainable and less climate-damaging forms of transport, the UK’s network of accessible cycle paths has expanded dramatically over the past few years, with over 187,000 km of routes now available. Interest, and participation in, cycling has also grown significantly during and since the pandemic.
One in five adults cycle at least once a week, with the latest Attitudes and Lifestyle survey conducted in 2021 noting there was a 75% increase in cycling for leisure during 2020 compared to 2019.
Locations in the South East top our rankings for the length of cycle routes available per household.
Best places for green living in 2022
When considered together, locations in the East of England occupy four of the ‘top spots’ in our Going Green index, in total five regions in England and Wales appear in the top 10.
However, with average prices of between £350-£650,000 Malton in Yorkshire and Humberside, Shaftesbury in the South West and Ashbourne in the East Midlands are perhaps our best pick locations. All three locations boast an individual rank within the top 50 of England and Wales.
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