An EPC rating may indicate how efficient (or inefficient) your house is, but what can you do if your property has a low grade? Enhancing your home’s rating may make it more appealing to prospective buyers if you decide to sell, while also saving you money and energy.
What exactly is an EPC?
When selling a house, you are needed to obtain a current energy performance certificate (EPC). The certifications are valid for ten years and inform prospective buyers about the cost of heating/powering the property, its efficiency, the features it may have (cavity wall insulation, solar panels, etc. ), and what can be done to increase its efficiency.
To get a certificate, a surveyor will visit your house and examine it, taking into account its size, the number of windows, the quantity of insulation, and the kind of heating system. After this work is finished, you will get a certificate indicating your home’s energy efficiency grade, which ranges from A (very efficient) to G. (poor efficiency).
When the certificate expires, it is not required to be renewed unless you want to sell your house. However, if you make major upgrades to your house, such as installing new insulation, you may desire to renew the certificate to determine the influence on your home’s energy efficiency rating.
How to get a favourable EPC rating
If you want to improve the efficiency of your house, whether to save money on your utility bills or to help the environment, you can learn more about how to get a good EPC rating below.
Increase the insulation in your house
Heating a property consumes the most energy in our houses; operating a gas boiler consumes more energy than drying our clothes in the tumble dryer, cooking our meals, or taking a bath. However, the heat evaporates gradually via the windows, doors, floors, walls, and roof.
Therefore, one of the most effective methods to raise your home’s efficiency and EPC rating is to strengthen the insulation. Insulation may assist to reduce heat loss by trapping the heat in your house for longer periods of time.
If your house presently has insufficient insulation, you may want to consider increasing the loft insulation to 270 mm, determining if your property has cavity wall insulation and, if not, installing it, as well as improving the floor insulation. Each of these factors has the potential to significantly affect your home’s EPC rating.
Solar panels should be installed (Photovoltaic)
Solar panels are one of the most effective methods to generate your own power, and although installation may involve a large investment, they are an excellent way to generate sustainable energy for free. The more power generated by your solar panels, the less electricity you will need to purchase from the National Grid. As a result, not only will your energy expenses reduce, but your home’s carbon impact will decrease as well.
Change to LED bulbs
For years, halogen and incandescent light bulbs were the industry standard, until energy-efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs) were available. Making the move to LEDs is one of the simplest, fastest, and least expensive efficiency improvements you can make at home. You may either replace each old bulb individually or all at once.
While this may not significantly boost your EPC, it may make a difference when combined with some of the other modifications advised in this tutorial.
Install a photovoltaic solar thermal system
Solar thermal is distinct from solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. Whereas photovoltaic panels use the sun’s energy to create electricity, thermal panels harness the sun’s inherent heat to warm cold water. The panels include a network of fluid-filled pipes. The sun warms the fluid, which may then be used to reheat the cold water kept in a tank in a house’s attic. While this system cannot provide all of your hot water demands without the aid of another heating equipment, such as a gas boiler, it may help to increase your home’s efficiency and lower your energy expenses.
Does your boiler have an effect on your EPC?
Having an outdated or inefficient boiler may result in a modest reduction in your EPC rating. This is because older systems use more gas to heat your home. This may be caused by normal wear and tear, age, or even limescale and other particles that have accumulated in the appliance over time.
As a result, installing a new gas boiler may result in an increase in your home’s EPC rating. This is particularly true if your current boiler is more than ten years old.
What is the energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of an air source heat pump?
While an air source heat pump does not have its own EPC rating, owning one may have an effect on your home’s total rating. This is not to be confused with an energy performance label, which indicates the efficiency of a product.
Will a heat pump increase your EPC rating?
You would assume that since EPCs are based on house efficiency, owning a highly efficient device such as a heat pump will boost your score. There has been considerable controversy on this subject, since EPCs continue to support the installation of gas boilers, and a heat pump may actually lower your EPC rating.
This occurs for two primary reasons.
An EPC rating is partly determined by the cost of heating a house. Electricity is more costly per kilowatt-hour than gas, which might skew the survey results by making your energy bills seem larger.
EPCs may inflate the efficiency of heat pumps depending on their inclusion or exclusion from the product characteristics database https://www.ncm-pcdb.org.uk (PCDB).
This should not dissuade you from installing a heat pump, since they remain a very effective method of heating your house. Our other blog discusses heat pumps in more detail. Building standards are scheduled to be updated in 2022, and the planned home efficiency measures will place a greater emphasis on electrification of home heating.