If you’re planning to buy, sell, or rent a property in the UK, it’s essential to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This rating system assesses the energy efficiency of a property, and it can help you understand your home’s CO2 emissions and potential energy costs. A high EPC rating can increase your chances of selling your property, reduce carbon emissions, and save you money on energy bills. In this article, we’ll dive deeper into EPC ratings, how they work, and how you can improve yours.
What is an EPC Rating?
An EPC rating evaluates a property’s energy efficiency, and it’s carried out by Domestic Energy Assessors in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, EPC surveys are conducted by government-approved associations. During an EPC assessment, the surveyor will examine your property’s construction, size, heating system, insulation, lighting, and controls. They will then use a color-coded scale from A to G to rate your property’s efficiency, with A being the most efficient and G being the least.
Factors Affecting Your EPC Rating
Your property’s EPC rating depends on two factors: the amount of energy used per square meter and the level of CO2 emissions in tons per year. Your EPC rating will be lower if your property uses more energy and emits more CO2.
How Long is an EPC Valid?
Once you receive your EPC, it’s valid for ten years. The cost of an EPC certificate can range from £60 to £120, depending on your location and provider. However, you may qualify for a free EPC if you’ve made energy-efficient improvements to your home.
EPC Ratings for Listed Buildings
Listed buildings or properties in conservation areas may not need an EPC rating as long as they meet minimum energy performance standards. If energy improvements would “unacceptably alter” a property’s character or appearance, an EPC rating isn’t required. However, listed buildings must have an E rating or above before selling or renting them out.
EPC Ratings for Landlords
Since April 2020, landlords cannot rent out properties with an EPC rating below E. If you’re planning to rent out a property with an F or G rating, you’ll need to improve the rating to E or register for an exemption.
How to Improve Your EPC Rating
There are several ways to improve your property’s EPC rating, and here are some of the most effective:
Upgrade to LED Light Bulbs Changing your traditional light bulbs to energy-efficient LED bulbs can help lift your EPC rating by one or two places. LED bulbs are eco-friendly, cost-effective, and have long-term savings on your electricity bill.
Install Insulation Installing insulation in your property’s walls and roof can significantly improve your EPC score, especially if your insulation is below standard. Insulation that’s at least 270mm thick in your roof can have a significant impact on energy efficiency. Wall cavity insulation is also a cost-effective way of improving your EPC rating.
Upgrade to Double or Triple Glazed Windows Double or triple glazed windows can reduce the amount of heat lost through your windows and improve your property’s energy efficiency. While double glazed windows are standard, triple glazed windows are becoming more popular due to their increased efficiency.
Invest in a More Efficient Boiler A newer, condensing boiler can increase your EPC rating by up to 40 points. Although it can be expensive, it’s worth investing in an eco-friendly boiler that saves energy in the long run. Introducing new heating technologies, such as smart thermostats, can also improve your EPC rating and lower heating costs.
Consider a Smart Meter Smart devices
Another way to improve your energy efficiency is to consider using smart devices like smart thermostats. These devices can help increase your energy efficiency and reduce your energy bills. A smart thermostat allows you to control your heating remotely through a phone app, enabling you to turn on your heating before you arrive home or turn it off when you leave the house. A Halo smart thermostat, for example, can be controlled using voice commands with Amazon Alexa or Google Home. Its intelligent heating systems can help reduce energy wastage by only warming your property when you’re at home.
In conclusion, EPC ratings are essential for anyone looking to buy, sell, or rent a property in the UK. Improving your EPC rating can help increase your chances of selling your property, reduce your carbon emissions, and lower your energy bills. By following some simple tips like upgrading to LED light bulbs, installing insulation, upgrading to double or triple glazed windows, investing in a more efficient boiler, and considering smart devices like smart thermostats, you can improve your property’s energy efficiency and EPC rating.