How to Improve Your EPC Rating

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It’s an interesting fact that topping up loft insulation can contribute to protecting the planet and the household budget. It’s a small act that can have huge benefits overall. We all know that the world’s traditional energy resources are being depleted and that these fossil fuels also help to cause damage to the atmosphere.

Energy efficiency measures, such as topping up insulation, are vital in helping to utilise energy in a way that is designed to protect the planet. It’s also important if for anyone who wants to reduce the amount that they spend on energy for their home or business premises; wasted energy equals wasted money. One of the main ways that you can tell if your property is energy efficient is to have an EPC completed. Once this is done, you can then concentrate on improving your EPC rating.

What is an EPC?

An Energy Performance Certificate is required for any property in the UK that is being built, sold or newly rented out. It contains information that tells the person who will be using a building how expensive heat and lighting is likely to be. The EPC also contains information about the CO2 emissions for the building.

In addition, an EPC contains advice about how the energy efficiency of the building can be improved. This is obviously important information to have which is why many property owners choose to have an EPC completed, even if they are not legally required to do so.

EPC inspections take around two hours to complete and are carried out by an accredited assessor. Once the EPC is completed, it is valid for ten years.

What are the EPC ratings?

An EPC certificate contains ratings for the energy efficiency of property; A is the highest rating and G is the lowest. The energy efficiency is given a number between 1 and 100 and the number falls within a particular band which signifies the rating that is awarded.

Typically, an older property that does not have the benefit of modern energy saving technology will have around a D rating. The good news is that there are steps which can be taken to improve the EPC rating of a property.

How to improve the EPC rating for your property

There are several steps that a property owner can take to improve the EPC rating of their property. Taking these steps is important in order to save money while protecting the environment at the same time.

Topping up loft insulation.

This was mentioned at the start of this article and arguably is the main improvement to consider. It’s a relatively simple and affordable way to potentially improve an EPC rating by around 10-15 points. These big EPC improvements normally happen when going from zero insulation to a recommended 270mm. However, even topping up insulation can lead to an improvement of a few points.

Insulating cavity walls

it’s possible to improve the EPC rating of a property by 5-10 points by simply making sure that cavity walls are insulated.

Upgrading the heating system

The difference that upgrading can make depends on how old the current system is. It’s possible that replacing an old boiler could improve an EPC rating by between 5 and 20 points.

Having double glazing installed

Having double glazing installed does not make as much difference to the EPC rating of a property as insulation but it can improve the rating by a few points. It’s worth mentioning that simply replacing current double glazing does not usually improve the EPC rating.

Using renewable energy

It can be worth using solar power as an energy source for your property. Larger solar PV systems can improve an EPC rating by 10 points. The improvement is less for smaller systems and for solar thermal systems. Whatever the improvements to an EPC rating, the use of renewable energy will become more important as fossil fuel supplies reduce even further.

Using energy efficient light bulbs

The use of energy efficient light bulbs has limited or no effect on an overall EPC rating, but it’s still important. LED bulbs may cost more to purchase initially but they last longer and are more efficient. It’s estimated that savings of around £35 a year can be made in homes where LCD bulbs are used.

These steps can all be used to help improve the EPC rating of a property and/or improve energy efficiency overall. These improvements mean that property owners usually end up spending less on energy bills.

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