The financial benefits of making energy saving improvements have long been known in terms of reduced bills in the face of rising energy prices. However, according to new research from the Department of Energy and Climate Change, these improvements can also increase the value of a property by up to 14 percent.

The report, “An investigation of the effect of EPC ratings on house prices”, which took into account over 300,000 property sales in England between 1995 and 2011, is the most comprehensive research in this area to date. It indicates that energy efficiency is now a key factor influencing the sale price of most residential dwellings in England.

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) provide buyers with an insight into a property’s energy efficiency. The document is valid for 10 years and grades a property’s energy efficiency from grade A to G, and it now seems that buyers are becoming increasingly conscious about the energy efficiency, and thus running cost, of their prospective new homes.

Nearly half of properties in England are currently band D, but a typical home in the West Midlands in band B is estimated to be valued at nearly £17,000 more, while in the North East this could be over £19,000 more.

The Green Deal, UK government’s flagship energy efficiency initiative to transform the homes of Britain, may help people capitalise on these findings. The Green Deal helps households pay for some of the cost of making energy-saving improvements, with the repayments spread out over time and paid back through the electricity bill.

“The Green Deal is helping more people make these types of home improvements, and is a great option for anyone wanting to improve the look, feel and potentially the value of their home,” said Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker.

Kevin McCloud, broadcaster and co-founder of the Grand Designs Future Living home retrofit company, said: “There are some 26 million homes in Britain, most of them about as well insulated as a rabbit hutch, and they need immediate help to be made less wasteful. This timely report tells us what we suspected all along: that people really value the well-insulated, energy-efficient home, and that modest investment in measures to make our homes more comfortable, healthier and cheaper-to-run really pays off.”