What is an EPC Rating and How is it Calculated?
EPC stands for Energy Performance Certificate. It is a certificate that shows how energy efficient your property is, summarising your home’s energy efficiency and estimated energy costs. Your home will be graded between A and G, with A being the highest and the most energy efficient and G being the worst. The certificate includes recommendations and estimated costs of implementing potential energy saving features and any potential financial savings that could be gained if those changes are made.
The rating is scored out of 100, so incremental changes around your property can see your property move up an efficiency band within a few improvements.
Traditionally, new homes have a better EPC rating and older homes, with aging features, having a much lower energy efficiency rating.
Green Homes Grant
In wake of the Green Deal, support from the government is now available to help you make energy-saving improvements to your home.
An estimated 600,000 people are expected to benefit from the Green Homes Grant and the scheme will cover at least two thirds of several energy–saving measures around the home. Most are entitled to £5,000, while some with certain benefits are entitled to as much as £10,000.
From cavity wall insulation and heating, to draft-proofing and double-glazing improvements, there are plenty of ways available to make considerable improvements to your home, with significantly reduced costs for homeowners and landlords alike.
Take the time to explore which grants you are eligible for.
If you are considering which grants you may be eligible for you can retrieve your property’s existing EPC rating certificate here.
Tips for Making Your Home More Energy Efficient
There are plenty of ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency, here are six tips to get you started.
1. Upgrade to LED Light Bulbs
One of the easiest and least labour-intensive ways of improving your EPC rating is to switch out your old light bulbs for modern LED bulbs.
They are more energy efficient and eco-friendly than traditional halogen bulbs, long-term they need replacing less often and they will provide immediate savings on your energy bills.
It is estimated that an LED bulb will last 20 times longer than a filament bulb, lasting up to 20,000 hours and only using 5 watts of power compared to 40 watts. According to SimplyLED, an LED bulb would cost just £19 during its lifetime compared to an incandescent bulb that would cost £152 over the same period.
2. Install Wall and Roof Insulation
Another way of introducing immediate long-term energy savings is by investing in additional wall, roof or cavity insulation. This low-cost measure significantly reduces the loss of energy from your home.
Increasing loft insulation thickness to at least 270mm can dramatically reduce energy waste. For example, an uninsulated loft conversion will lose heat up to at third faster than a properly insulated one. Previously, the recommended depth of insulation was as low as 100mm, before rising to 200mm or higher and it is likely that older homes with fewer renovations will have unsuitable insulation installed.
Going from no insulation to 270mm can improving the EPC rating by 10-15 points, whilst a top up of existing insulation will typically add 2-5 points.
Cavity wall insulation will add 5-10 in most circumstances.
The cost of installing new or additional insulation varies depending on the size and walls of your property. Generally speaking, each two-storey wall will cost £200 and naturally, detached houses will incur greater costs in comparison to terrace houses and bungalows.
3. Replace Windows with Double or Triple Glazing
While proper insulation is essential, failing to keep your windows up to grade will mean that your home is still wasting a lot of energy. Most modern homes will have double glazing as standard but it is always useful to check as new double glazing can add up to ten points on your EPC rating.
In the UK, the average price for white 1x1m UPVC double glazed windows is £300. For apartments, prices can range from £1,550 to £2,750, while prices for semi-detached or smaller detached houses can cost between £4,900 and £7,600 for new double glazing.
4.Install Solar Panels
Investing in renewables can be more expensive than some of the other options listed here, but a system of 16 solar panels can add up to 10 points to your EPC rating. You will also be contributing towards your own energy supply over the coming years and according to Which you could earn up to £1,600 a year when supplying energy back to the National Grid.
The cost of installing solar panels can vary drastically and according to moneysavingexpert.com the average home solar panel system will cost around £6,200. When choosing a system your needs will vary dramatically depending on your location and circumstance, so always look to get a variety of quotes to find your best option before proceeding.
5. Use a Smart Meter
Smart meters can have a great effect on your behavioural habits around the home. A smart meter will provide you with a live reading of your day-to-day energy usage and reveal the times at which you are using more energy than necessary throughout the day.
Additionally, you will never have to submit another meter reading to your supplier. A smart meter can be installed by your electricity supplier at no extra cost to you and some suppliers will provide incentives to get one installed.
6. Replace an Inefficient Boiler and Heating
Your boiler and heating system are two of the most important key factors when it comes to your EPC rating. By upgrading an old boiler to a modern condensing model, you can add up to 20 points to your EPC, depending on the age of your boiler.
The age of your boiler can also be a significant point of consideration when having your property valued too.
Combi and conventional boilers are the most typical in the UK and these systems can cost anything from £500 to £2,000. Condensing boilers will cost up to £2,500 and a biomass boiler can cost up to £13,000. Higher performance boilers will incur greater costs, but usually with a guarantee of greater performance and better energy efficiency.
How much is an EPC Certificate?
All homes require an EPC before they can be sold or let. The certificate can cost up to £120, although this is traditionally much lower for most properties.
To apply for an Energy Performance Certificate (or retrieve an existing Energy Performance Certificate) visit epcregister.com to find an accredited domestic energy assessor.
How Long is an EPC Valid for?
An EPC certificate is valid for 10 years upon issue, however if you are making improvements to your home it can be easily renewed once you have made changes to your property.
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Correct at time of publication (18th September 2020). The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the individual contributor and do not necessarily reflect those of the Chancellors Group of Estate Agents Ltd or its subsidiaries. References to legislation, best practice and other matters with legal implications such as fees, rules and processes are included for information and editorial purposes only and are not authoritative, nor should they be interpreted as advice. When in doubt you should only take advice from an industry professional or solicitor where appropriate. E&OE.