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Herefordshire Zero Carbon and Nature Rich

The county-wide action plan and how you can make a difference

Housing and buildings challenges and solutions

The challenge

The solution

As a county we urgently need to ensure that:

There are obvious links between buildings and several other areas of climate and nature action, including energy, transport and land use.  Please see those sections of the action plan for more details.

Buildings at the centre with energy, transport and land use overlapping

The graphic shows buildings at the centre with the following areas of climate and nature action overlapping it: energy - embodied energy and energy in use, transport - where buildings are sited and how people get to them, land use - where buildings are sited.

Buildings in Herefordshire - current context

There are two main types of buildings: domestic (housing) and non-domestic (offices, shops, factories). Currently Herefordshire has about 83,765 homes, and over 20,000 non-domestic buildings.

Existing buildings (domestic)

Currently Herefordshire has about 83,765 homes and over 20,000 non-domestic buildings.

Herefordshire, as a large rural county, faces exceptional domestic energy challenges in relation to the age and type of housing and the availability of mains gas. The Buildings Research Establishment (BRE) analysis in 2019 that showed:

  • Herefordshire homes emit more GHG than the UK average
  • Herefordshire homes are older than the UK average - 28% were built before 1919
  • A large proportion of these older homes are solid wall properties so are much less efficient from an energy efficiency and GHG emissions perspective
  • Mains gas is available to an estimated 69% of properties. This means that one-third of homes rely on expensive and/or high-carbon fuels such as oil, electricity, LPG
  • Herefordshire has high levels of fuel poverty

It's clear there's an urgent need for widespread action to improve the energy performance of existing buildings.

Existing buildings (non-domestic)

Non-domestic buildings vary from commercial and industrial units, shops, offices as well as public buildings such as schools, hospitals, libraries and museums. Analysis[1] of EPC data indicates that non-domestic building energy performance broadly mirrors national data and highlights significant opportunity for improvement.

It's clear there's an urgent need for more action to improve the energy performance of existing buildings.

New buildings

  • Current projections are for 16,500 new houses and 150ha of new non-domestic buildings to be built in Herefordshire between 2011 and 2031. If these are built to current minimum standards, they will add significantly to Herefordshire's GHG emissions. It's therefore essential to increase building standards to much higher levels

Read our Housing and Buildings action plan for details of our planned actions over the next few years

[1] https://epc.opendatacommunities.org/login