Domestic Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) can be a useful source of information on the energy efficiency of homes. Usually, there are around 9,000 assessments are lodged annually in the district as houses are sold, re-let or improvement grants and Feed-in Tariffs are applied for. An A rating is the most efficient rating and a G rating is the least. The Government’s target is that all domestic properties should have a C rating or better by 2030.
In the latter part of 2019 there was a big increase in EPC lodgements, as the District’s largest social landlord reassessed a large proportion of their stock. Landlords have to conduct an EPC at least every ten years.
A broader analysis of the local private housing stock showed that the average SimpleSAP (another energy efficiency measure) rating for all private sector dwellings in Wakefield is 58, which is better than both England and Yorkshire and The Humber. Despite this relatively good performance, however, the analysis shows that still only 23% of private housing stock has levels of loft insulation that would meet the latest recommendations (at least 25cm of rock wool).
Renewable Energy Generation
To date, the rate of domestic photovoltaic (PV – solar panel) installations in Wakefield has been higher than the West Yorkshire and England averages. At the end of 2018 there were 5,434 domestic PV installations on the Feed-in Tariff Register, giving a combined capacity of 17.9 MW. Non-domestic installations account for a further 3.8 MW.
In 2017, a total of 123,200 MWh of electricity was generated in Wakefield district from renewable sources (excluding energy from incinerating municipal solid waste). Around 17% of this renewable generation was from solar, while the largest contribution was from burning plant biomass (see chart opposite). The capacity for generation rose threefold as the new Ferrybridge Multifuel 1 plant became fully operational in July 2015. A second Multifuel plant at Ferrybridge is under construction. A 500 kW hydro scheme started generation at Kirkthorpe, near Wakefield, in November 2016 and second 500 kW hydro project on the River Aire near Knottingley started generation in September 2017. Further information on these hydro schemes can be found at Barn Energy