Rural England

Energy inefficient homes

Graphs on this page:

Supporting information:

Key points

  • The proportion of dwellings which are very energy inefficient is much higher in rural areas than in urban areas, and is highest in the most rural areas: 35% in the most rural areas and 25% in village centres compared with 5% in urban areas.
  • See the UK indicator on energy inefficient homes.

Rural/urban ratios (urban = 10)

On most poverty and social exclusion indicators, rural areas have ‘better scores’ than urban areas.  The purpose of the table below is to differentiate between those subjects where rural areas are ‘a bit better’ and those where rural areas are ‘a lot better’.  It does so by presenting the rural statistics for the indicator as a proportion of the urban statistics.  So, for example, a rural ‘score’ of 6 in the table below means that the rural statistic is around 60% of its urban equivalent.

Hamlets and isolated dwellings66
Small towns and fringe15

Definitions and data sources

The graphs

The graph shows the proportion of homes by type of area which are very energy inefficient.  The energy efficiency of a home is measured using something called the ‘Standard Assessment Procedure’ (SAP) rating.  SAP ratings range from 0 to 100, with the higher the rating the more energy efficient the home.  Following advice from DCLG, the threshold used to define ‘very energy inefficient’ homes is those which have a SAP rating of less than 30.

Level of the data

Small area urban/rural classifications using the government’s 2004 classification system for small areas.  Rural areas are those classified as ‘small town and fringe’, ‘village’ and ‘hamlet and isolated dwellings’.  Note that there is an alternative classification system which could have been used, where the surveyor of the property allocates it to one of six categories, three of which are rural.  The results using the two alternative classification systems are different, but show a broadly similar pattern.


The stock dataset from the English Housing Survey, DCLG.  To improve its statistical reliability, the data is the average for the latest three years.

The numbers

Hamlets and isolated dwellings35%
Small towns and fringe8%
Rural (combined)18%