Has your home been feeing extra cold lately, no matter the number of brightly coloured throws and pillows you’ve been throwing around the room? Is your great wall of draught excluders no longer keeping the chill at bay? And do you stand in front of an open fridge to warm up during the winter months? The good news is that a domestic EPC can help. A domestic EPC is not only useful for you if you are considering moving or renting a property, it is also a helpful guide on how to improve energy efficiency in older properties that are less energy efficient. Here is some advice on ways to calculate energy efficiency, what an EPC can do for your home, and when it is best to get one.
Ways to Calculate Your Energy Efficiency
Here are a couple of ways that you can calculate the energy efficiency of your property and exorcize that haunting chill from your home.
1. Using a Home Energy Calculator
One way to calculate the energy efficiency of your home is through an online energy calculator. A home energy checker is a good first indication of whether your home needs to be improved for energy efficiency purposes, but we advise caution when using one.
First of all, make sure the calculator you’re using is an independent one. A lot of energy assessors have calculators on their websites that are designed to draw in and drum up new business. We suggest trying a website that isn’t trying to sell you a service like the Energy Check on the Energy Saving Trust’s website. It might not be totally without bias, but at least they’re not trying to get inside your wallets.
An energy calculator isn’t a comprehensive assessment but rather a rough guide. Some people don’t know if their walls are cavity walls or solid walls – if there is already insulation within them. This can lead them to entering the wrong information into the calculator and receiving the wrong advice.
An energy calculator also gives very general advice that isn’t tailored to the building and as such may miss things.
2. Getting a Domestic EPC Assessment
Having a domestic EPC assessment is more accurate than a home energy calculator as it is tailored to the building and the assessors are trained individuals that pick up on things that calculators, or home owners can miss. For example, it is very easy not to take into account the impact a chimney has on heat loss or to miss the fact some of the seals on your double glazing are worn out and need replacing. An EPC assessment is a robust service provided by an expert that is tailored to your property.
The Importance of an EPC Assessment
Most people only think of an EPC as a certificate to certify the property’s energy efficiency rating, but it is so much more than that. An EPC features a structured plan on how to start improving the energy efficiency of your home. This structured plan provides you with a road map on how to start making your home a little cosier and warmer.
Customers who have ordered an EPC in the past have done so, not because it was required, but to get a low-cost improvement plan put in place. They use this plan to help them figure out how to improve the energy efficiency of their household. Many homeowners who have older properties where EPC improvements have not been implemented feel overwhelmed and do not know where to begin.
The plan in the EPC details everything a homeowner needs to know to start making improvements – the recommended order of improvements, the cost of each plan, the money it will save you, the impact it will have on your energy band and the grants that are available to help implement the plan. A domestic EPC is so much more than legal compliance for when selling or renting a home. It’s an investment in the future.
When is it a good idea to get a domestic EPC?
Most people only consider getting a domestic EPC when they wish to sell or rent their house due to it being a legal requirement. If you have lived in a property for a long time and wish to see if you can help reduce your carbon foot-print or have noticed that it has been getting extra chilly lately and the energy bill has been creeping up, it might be a good idea to calculate the energy efficiency of the building to stay warm and toasty while saving those pennies.
Most newly purchased homes will come with an EPC as it required to be placed on the market. The only time to get an EPC, in this case, is when the one you have is becoming out-date. An EPC certificate is valid for ten years – so an EPC approaching its expiry could be renewed to address any problems before they become an issue.
There is a belief in the UK that the private sale of a property doesn’t require an EPC, and that an EPC is only required to place a property on the market. This is not the case as EU law requires an EPC to be presented when the contracts are exchanged; however, as it is a popular myth a lot of private sales don’t provide an EPC. Another instance where an EPC might not be provided is when the property is inherited. In both of these instances, we recommend that you carry out an EPC assessment, so you can renovate in the most energy efficient way possible.
In both of these transactions, the buildings could be in poor condition as you’re taking the property from an elderly relative who might have been unable to maintain the standards. In such cases, an EPC can help by highlighting how to repair the property to a suitable standard for rent, sale or to move into.
If you are looking for ways to improve the energy efficiency rating of your property, contact us today to discuss how we can help. We have offices in London, and around the UK.