Home Improvement

How To Improve Your EPC Rating

Energy efficiency is very important for your property. You may be aware of what an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is all about – a professional assessment and report of how energy-efficient is your home. It is a legal requirement for owners, who wish to build, sell or rent their property. Improving the energy efficiency of your home or rental property helps with cutting down on your energy consumption costs, of course, so it is important in many ways. 

So if you:

  • Want to improve the energy efficiency of your property and cut back on electricity costs;
  • Are a landlord who has received poor EPC results;
  • Have recently purchased a new property with a low EPC rating;

Read on, and we will give you some advice on how to improve your EPC rating.

What is an EPC and what does energy efficiency mean?

An Energy Performance Certificate contains information on the overall energy use and typical energy costs of a property. It also includes recommendations on reducing energy consumption. It consists of grades from A to G, with A being the most efficient, and G being the least.

Of course, if you own a low-rated property, you should aim to improve energy efficiency and there are many ways to do this. For landlords, the mandatory minimal band is the E rating. Also, in Scotland, it is a legal obligation to display the rating somewhere in your home.

Some of the most common recommendations to improve EPC rating include:

  • Lower-energy lighting – The smallest, easiest and cheapest way of improving your energy efficiency and reducing costs is to switch to energy-efficient lighting. 
  • Insulation – A more complex and expensive way of improving energy efficiency in your home is having your floors, walls, ceilings, loft, etc. properly insulated. Insulation reduces the need for heating and cuts back on bills. 
  • Double-glazed windows – This type of windows help with keeping the heat inside and complements insulation.
  • Solar panels – a great source of green energy for your property, although solar panels can be one of the more expensive ways to improve your EPC rating. 

There’s, of course, a lot more that you can do to reduce your energy consumption. So, let’s discuss in depth some of these solutions to improve the energy efficiency of your property.

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Improving insulation

The first method of improving your EPC rating, which we will look at, is how to reduce heat loss in your house. This is an easy one – just make sure that you insulate your home properly. There are many ways of energy proofing your home and they will help reduce heating bills and improve the overall energy efficiency of your place. 

One of the most important aspects of insulation is properly insulating the walls of a building. As much as one-third of heat loss comes from uninsulated walls. Be it cavity wall insulation or solid wall insulation, it is a major part of boosting the overall energy efficiency of your home. 

Having your floor and roof insulated, as well, is also important because heat can easily escape through them, too. 

Making the switch to energy-efficient LED lighting 

This is probably the easiest way to improve the energy efficiency of your home. Replacing your old halogen, incandescent or compact fluorescent light bulbs with LED ones is easy and they are available in so many stores.

LED lighting comes with a lot of benefits. For example, an LED light bulb equivalent to a 60W incandescent one, consumes 7 times less energy. It’s as simple as that. 

LED lights also come with the advantage of having a long life, so you won’t be replacing them all the time – one bulb can easily last a decade (if not more), depending on the usage. Nowadays, LED lights have gone a long way and there are many light colour temperature options available, so you can make the lighting in your home exactly the way you want. 

How does double-glazed windows reduce heat loss?

This one is also a solution for retaining heat in your property and cutting costs on heating bills. Heat can easily escape through your windows when they are ordinary, single-glass-pane ones. Opting for double-glazed windows in your home makes them energy-efficient by reducing the amount of heat that escapes through by almost 30%.

Double-glazed, energy-efficient windows consist of a framing, into which glass sealed units are fitted. The gap between the energy-efficient glass panes is filled with air or gas, such as argon or xenon, which helps with the heat retention properties of the windows.

Along with the huge efficiency benefit and the reduced costs for heating in your property, another great value to double-glazed windows is their ability to reduce outside noise.

Insulating your loft space

We’ve already mentioned insulating your under-roof space as a good way to improve the energy efficiency of your property, but let’s go into more detail about why loft insulation is needed. Having no insulation in your loft, roof or attic space, lets heat easily escape through them. And we already know that’s not beneficial for the EPC rating.

Loft insulation is done by placing insulating materials either between the horizontal beams along the floor of your attic space, or the angled beams, which support the roof. This can be a DIY solution if you have easy access to the loft space. Just make sure there isn’t something like pipes or electrical wires in the way of where you would lay the insulation material. 

And remember, proper insulation not only helps improve your EPC rating and saves you money on heating bills, but it also adds value to a rental property.

Replacing your old boiler with a more efficient new one

The costs of running your boiler are some of the highest when it comes to energy bills. That’s why it is important to have a high-efficiency boiler in your home. Many properties still have old boilers installed and if that is the case with you, maybe, consider replacing it with a new one. Modern boilers are way more efficient when it comes to energy consumption and that is, of course, important for the EPC rating.

So, how do you know if your boiler is old and needs replacing? For starters, if it is over 6 years old, it probably isn’t as efficient as it was when it was brand new. Older boiler models also take a lot of space and that may be important for you if you own a smaller home. Oil boilers are even older and they are not efficient at all. Nowadays, however, there are a lot of gas or electric boiler options that are built with energy efficiency in mind. You should also service your heating appliance annually before the cold seasons start to ensure it operates as it’s intended.

Draught-proofing your home

And finally, the most cost-effective way of keeping heat inside is to draught-proof your property. Heat can easily escape through gaps in your windows and doors and also any holes or cracks in the walls.

Another unpleasant situation that you might experience because of draughty doors and windows is problems with your thermostat. If your thermostat is constantly affected by cold draught, you can experience uneven distribution of heat at home. This will eventually influence the energy efficiency of your home and electricity bills.

Draught-proofing windows and doors can be done the DIY way and it’s relatively cheap, so keep that in mind when improving the overall insulation of your property and it’s EPC rating.

Need help with replacing your boiler? Don’t worry, we can do it!

Fantastic Services offers professional boiler installation, repair and servicing, designed to save you unnecessary costs on energy consumption and bills. For your convenience, we can help you choose the right heating appliance for your home, deliver it, install it and help you with its annual servicing. Fantastic Services is proud to be an official supplier of Worcester Bosch and Vaillant boilers, which also come with up to 10 years of manufacturer’s guarantee. 

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Takeaways

  • For landlords, an E rating on their EPC is the mandatory minimum they need to have;
  • To improve the energy-efficiency of your property, you should properly insulate the walls, floor and loft space;
  • Making the switch to LED lighting in your home is an easy solution;
  • Double-glazed windows are a great way to keep heat inside;
  • If you own an older boiler in your house, consider replacing it with an efficient, modern one.

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Did you find this guide useful? Let us know in the comments!

Image source: Shutterstock / Andrey_Popov

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