An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating is an often overlooked part of buying or selling a property. Paying careful attention to the EPC can save you money and prevent you from unknowingly moving into a home with very poor energy efficiency and very high energy bills.
By improving your EPC rating, you can not only save some money on your energy bills during the current cost of living crisis, but also help the environment and boost the value of your home when you do eventually decide to sell your property.
We’ve brought together some of our top tips on how to improve your EPC rating.
What is an EPC?
Before we talk about how to improve your EPC rating, it’s important to fully understand what an EPC actually is. An EPC is a way of rating how energy efficient a building is, using an A-G scale, where A is the most efficient and G is the least efficient. The EPC is valid for 10 years.
A property’s EPC will contain information about the energy usage of the property, as well as some recommendations on how to reduce your energy use and energy bill. In England and Wales, it is a legal requirement for properties being built, sold or rented to have an in-date EPC. In Scotland, a property’s EPC must be displayed somewhere within the building for people to see.
Why is your EPC important?
While it may feel like a chore getting an EPC through an accredited assessor, your EPC rating is incredibly important. As well as being a legal requirement for buildings being rented, built or sold in England and Wales, a good EPC rating can actually boost the value of the property.
Landlords should pay close attention to the EPC rating of their properties. In 2015, the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) Regulations were announced, requiring domestic rented properties in England and Wales to have an EPC rating of at least E.
Your EPC offers you advice on how to cut your energy usage in order to save money, which is even more essential in the current financial climate. By reducing your energy usage, you can also help to fight climate change from the comfort of your home.
Discover how to improve your EPC rating with these tips.
Ways to improve your EPC rating
Realising how important an EPC is for buyers, sellers and those who are staying put, there are some easy ways to help improve your building’s EPC rating. Some of the suggestions are investments and some are very inexpensive, meaning that more people can make EPC improvements.
Here are five of our top tips for improving your EPC rating to save money, help the environment, and potentially boost your property value.
1. Get smart with a smart meter
Using a smart meter isn’t going to automatically improve your EPC rating, but it will help you to see more clearly how your home uses energy. By providing a more accurate overview of a building’s energy consumption, a smart meter can help people to identify where energy is being wasted. When you know where energy is being wasted, you can take steps to prevent this.
Showing real-time data about the energy consumption in a building, a smart meter is a great way of monitoring the usage throughout the day or week, and displaying the cost too. Some people find that being able to see in real-time the amount of money they are spending on energy helps them to be more mindful of their energy consumption.
2. Insulate your walls, roof and hot water cylinder
Insulation is absolutely key when trying to improve your EPC rating. Adding insulation to different parts of your home is all about trying to prevent heat from escaping the building, with the insulation acting as a barrier. This means that you need to use less energy to heat your home.
Loft or roof insulation plays a huge role in this as heat rises. Without proper loft insulation, the heat will continue to rise and escape through the roof. Loft insulation acts as a barrier between the heat in your home and the roof.
The same concept applies to wall insulation, whether external walls or cavity wall insulation – the goal is to stop heat from escaping. Properties that still have a hot water cylinder – or hot water tank – can insulate this too. Hot water cylinder insulation jackets help to keep the heat inside the tank, meaning less energy is needed to bring it up to temperature.
3. Check on your boiler
If your boiler isn’t very efficient or is very old, it could be a good idea to replace it for a more energy efficient version. The more energy efficient your boiler is, the more money you can save as less energy is required to produce the same amount of heat.
This is a big investment, but could help to improve your EPC.
4. Light it up with LED lighting
One of the easiest swaps to make for EPC improvements is to swap out your usual lightbulbs for more energy efficient LED bulbs. These types of bulbs use much less energy to light up a room, saving you money too.
Top tip: always remember to turn off the lights when you leave a room – it all adds up!
5. Use low-energy appliances
Using low-energy appliances is a great way of improving your EPC rating. When buying any appliances for your home – from washing machines and dishwashers to TVs and microwaves – pay attention to the energy rating of the product.
Similar to EPCs, the energy rating of appliances uses a scale from A to G, with A being the most efficient and G being the least efficient. The older scale goes from A+++ to G, with A+++ being the most efficient.
Once you’ve improved your EPC rating, it’s time to sell or rent your property with Stanfords. Make the most of our experienced estate agents and unrivalled property marketing, working with you to get the best deal for your property.