A new survey by Halifax revealed that properties with better energy ratings sold for more in all regions in England and Wales. Houses with high energy efficiency ratings are worth up to £40,000 more than less efficient properties, as buyers are increasingly willing to pay a ‘green premium’ for sustainable housing.
What is an EPC?
An EPC (energy performance certificate) is a document that shows how energy-efficient your property is. Your home will receive an energy rating of A-G, with A being the most energy-efficient and G being the least. The EPC is completed by a qualified and experienced energy assessor and is valid for 10 years.
An EPC will give you the following information:
- How much energy your property uses.
- How much carbon dioxide it produces.
- Suggestions to reduce its energy use and save money.
- Whether your property is green enough to qualify for certain benefits.
When do I need an EPC?
New energy efficiency rules were introduced in 2007, which require all dwellings in England and Wales to have an EPC before being sold, rented or constructed. These rules apply to most types of buildings, meaning you’ll also need to acquire a commercial EPC if you are selling, letting, or constructing a business premises.
What is a good EPC rating?
The highest EPC rating you can get is an A and the lowest you can get is a G. Most properties in the UK are somewhere in between. The 2021 Energy Efficiency of Housing in England & Wales Report found that the median energy efficiency score is 66 in England and 64 in Wales. This means that the average EPC rating for properties in the UK is a D.
As part of the UK’s Clean Growth Strategy, the government has set a target for all homes to achieve a minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of C by 2035.
How does EPC rating affect property value?
Halifax’s research revealed that EPC rating can have a significant impact on the value of a property, with A-rated properties worth up to £40,000 more than G-rated homes. Halifax found that C-rated houses are worth approximately £11,000 more than E-rated properties. This shows that improving your EPC rating by just a band or two can make a big difference to the value of your property.
Climate change is a hot topic and homeowners are becoming increasingly eco-conscious. Homebuyers recognise the benefits of energy efficiency, including cheaper utility bills and lower carbon emissions. For that reason, many buyers are willing to pay a premium for sustainable houses with a higher EPC rating.
Tips to improve your EPC rating
There are many ways to improve your home’s energy performance. From simple upgrades like replacing incandescent light bulbs with LEDs to major renovations like installing solar panels or replacing your boiler system.
Install a smart thermostat
A smart thermostat allows you to control your home heating remotely, usually through an app. This helps to improve efficiency by maintaining a consistent temperature and reducing wasted energy.
According to uswitch.com, a smart thermostat can save homeowners up to 31% on their heating costs which equates to roughly £200 a year.
Insulate your walls
Roughly 35% of a home’s heat is lost through the walls and gaps, in and around windows and doors. Insulating your wall cavities is a simple way to improve your EPC rating and boost your energy performance. Installing insulation can be expensive, but it should lead to long-term cost savings thanks to cheaper energy bills.
Upgrade windows and doors
Upgrading your windows and doors will eliminate cold drafts and help to prevent heat loss. It will also make your property more secure and reduce outside noise. Look for windows and doors with energy-saving features such as triple glazing.
Invest in renewable energy
Investing in renewable energy is one of the best ways to create an eco-friendly home. More and more homeowners and businesses are having solar panel systems installed on the roofs of their properties to generate their own green electricity.
If your property has a recent EPC, you can take a look at its energy-saving recommendations as a starting point. This will help you decide which upgrades will maximise your energy performance and give you the highest returns.
Research by Halifax demonstrates that homebuyers are willing to pay a premium for green properties with better EPC ratings. More energy-efficient homes attract higher sale prices when compared to less efficient properties.
Investing in energy-saving measures to improve your property’s EPC rating can be a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, save money on energy costs, and increase your property value.