As we begin to see the effects of climate change on our everyday lives, the world is becoming increasingly aware that we must be doing what we can to reduce the amount of energy that we are wasting. One of the key ways that this is done is through monitoring and reducing energy emissions from our homes.
With energy prices going through the roof, it has never been more important for us to reduce the amount of energy that we are using. And this can be done by making our homes as energy efficient as possible.
In order for us to know how energy efficient our homes are, the best way to do this is with an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) inspection. In the inspection, a qualified assessor will visit the property and look at its energy efficiency, including measures such as insulation and your heating system.
The assessor will then give you a certificate, alongside a rating, which indicates the energy efficiency of the property. The rating is on a scale of A to G, with an A being the most energy efficient, and a G being the least.
The Average EPC Rating
According to the ONS, in England and Wales in 2019, the average EPC rating was a band D, which is below the target of a C that the government has set to achieve by 2035. The data also shows that (unsurprisingly) houses that have been built in recent years are significantly more energy efficient than older properties.
Getting your EPC Rating
Generally speaking, if you are a homeowner or tenant, you should have been given your EPC when you moved into the property as a legal requirement. If you are looking to improve the energy efficiency of your home, it can sometimes be worth getting a new inspection carried out, to have the most up-to-date details about how your home is doing.
Another benefit of having an EPC inspection done is that the assessor will also give you recommendations about how you can improve your property’s EPC rating. Some of the measures that you could be recommended include:
- Cavity wall insulation
- Loft insulation
- Draught proofing
- Double glazing
- Floor insulation
- Updating boilers and heating systems
- Renewable energy sources (such as solar panels or wind turbines)
Energy Saving Measures to Improve Your Energy Rating
Energy efficiency is essential for reducing both our carbon footprints and the cost of our energy bills, and whilst some of the measures that you can carry out might seem a little costly, they will no doubt pay for themselves very quickly – especially as energy prices go up.
The idea behind insulation is that when you heat your home, the heat does not escape into the atmosphere, but instead, stays inside the home. This means that you can reduce the amount of heating that you use (and also keep your home cooler during the summer).
Cavity Wall Insulation – about a third of the heat in your home is lost through the walls. By filling the cavity between the two layers of brick with insulation, you can help to reduce the heat loss through the walls. This can get you your money back within about five years depending on your property type and energy usage. Houses that were built from the 1990s onwards should already have cavity wall insulation, and if you have solid walls, you might need to consider external wall insulation.
Loft Insulation – a quarter of the heat in your home is lost through the roof. By laying up to 250mm of loft insulation on the floor of your loft, you can help to reduce this heat loss, and you will make your money back relatively quickly.
Draught Proofing – involves reducing the draughts that can be created around the house. This could be by fitting double glazing or getting well-fitted doors and windows.
Double or Triple Glazing – by double or triple glazing your windows, you are effectively insulating your windows, adding another layer between the inside and outside of your home, and helping to reduce heat loss through the windows.
Boilers and Heating Systems Upgrades – old boilers and heating systems are extremely energy inefficient, and one of the best ways that you can improve the overall energy efficiency in your property is to get newer, more efficient systems.
Ensuring that our homes are as energy efficient as possible is essential for everyone as climate change begins to bite and energy bills rise. An EPC assessment is the best way to understand how energy efficient your home is and to find out what measures you should carry out to improve it and get a better rating.