If you have even a passing interest in real estate, you’ve undoubtedly been hearing a lot about the importance of energy efficiency.
This is becoming an increasing priority for homeowners, and thanks to government policy, the reasons for pursuing greater levels of efficiency now go beyond the obvious environmental incentive.
Are you wondering whether it’s time to upgrade your home’s energy efficiency? Read on to find out how this change could benefit you — as well as the planet.
The environmental reasons for upgrading your home’s efficiency are obvious. Our planet faces an urgent climate crisis – according to the Environmental Defence Fund, dire consequences can already be observed around the world — and improving household efficiency is one meaningful way for individuals to make a positive impact.
Minimising our greenhouse gas emissions should certainly be a priority. In the UK, a government report has projected that emissions from households’ fossil fuel and electricity will rise by 11% by 2035 when compared with 2015 levels. This emphasises the need for increased efficiency: without taking preventative measures, our bad situation is predicted to worsen.
These concerns have pushed the government into action. As a result, high standards have been imposed on homeowners in a bid to enact the so-called Green Home Revolution.
In 2019, a goal was set: buildings should achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. For homeowners to make this happen, they’ll have to invest in the energy efficiency of their property.
What if they refuse to comply? Then, there could be financial consequences. Lenders have been encouraged to incentivise energy efficiency by rewarding buyers and sellers whose homes meet these high standards.
According to This Is Money, “green mortgages” are offered at attractively low rates. Their appeal could make inefficient homes with poor Energy Performance Certificates less attractive to buyers and harder to sell.
Energy Performance Certificates
If you’re planning to sell or rent your home anytime soon, you’ll need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This is a legal requirement, and it’s the homeowner’s responsibility to obtain it.
The cost of an EPC starts at £30, but it ultimately depends on the size of your property. You can get in touch with our local team for a quote. However, all prices are less than the fee you’ll face for not having one!
To obtain an EPC, contact a registered energy assessor. They will pay a short visit to your property in order to assess how much it currently costs to power and heat your home and how your energy needs could be met more efficiently.
The registered energy assessor will allocate your home an EPC rating. This will be a letter between A and G, with A being the best possible grade and G the worst. These letter grades are based on a 100-point system; if it scored over 92 points, your home is given an A for efficiency.
Don’t worry if your rating seems low: the average EPA grade in England and Wales is D. New homes built with energy efficiency in mind are likely to receive a higher grade than older buildings.
To improve your EPC, you might consider taking the following steps as recommended by Homelet:
Switch your lighting to LED. LED lightbulbs are more energy efficient so this is a cheap, easy way to make your household more eco-friendly.
Install insulation. A roof that doesn’t have insulation will let heat escape. Wall and roof insulation can be expensive, but it will make a big difference to your EPC rating.
Invest in better windows. Double or even triple glazing will also prevent heat from escaping from your home.
Upgrade your boiler. An efficient boiler can make a huge difference to your EPC rating. If you have an old model, you might consider switching to the modern condensing type.
Get a smart meter. This will help you understand how you use energy. If you’re being wasteful, your smart meter will alert you to this.
Although the cost of optimising your home’s efficiency is unlikely to be immediately offset by savings in your bills, there are other financial benefits. Government research has shown that these improvements could increase your property’s value by up to 38%.
Energy efficiency isn´t a topic that’s going anywhere. If anything, it will only continue to increase in importance as the general public becomes more aware of the climate crisis and its consequences.
If now isn’t the right time to increase your property’s energy efficiency, when will be?