Tips to improve your EPC rating

Your EPC rating is a score that tells you how energy efficient your home is . The better the rating, the more money you could be saving on heating and lighting bills

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If you’re looking to rent out a property, you might need to improve the EPC first. If you’re selling, a higher rating could be more attractive to potential buyers.

Here we’ll look at some of the ways you can try to improve your EPC rating.

What’s a good EPC rating?

The rating is awarded by an independent assessor who look at things like insulation, average energy costs and window glazing to determine your final score.

Not sure what your EPC rating is? You can use the government’s EPC checker to find out and see whether your certificate is still valid. All EPCs last for 10 years, so you’ll need to renew your EPC if it has run out and you’re looking to sell your property or intend to rent it out.

EPC certificates and assessments apply in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, they form part of a Home Report.

Ways to improve your EPC rating

Making your home more energy efficient can save you money in the long run by lowering your utility bills. It can make your property more environmentally friendly too.

Here are some of the benefits of improving your EPC rating:

  • Lower energy bills – If your home is more energy efficient, you’ll pay less to keep it warm. In fact, you could save up to £300 a year.
  • Potential higher returns – When you sell your home, buyers may be willing to pay a little more if they know their energy bills will be lower.
  • Lower carbon footprint – Making your home more energy efficient means you’re helping to do your bit for the environment .

Source: energyperformancecertificates.co.uk, EDF energy

So how can you improve your rating? Your EPC report will set out the priority improvements that will make the biggest difference, but here are some of the most common.

Insulation

Insulation will help keep more heat in your home, ensuring warmer winters and less need to use your radiators. Adding loft insulation, or insulating wall cavities, can improve the energy efficiency of your home and your rating.

Although installing insulation can involve a large upfront cost, you might find that you make your money back over time in savings on bills.

Double glazing

Heat escapes out of windows, especially those with single glazing or a wooden frame. Improving your frames or level of glazing can boost your EPC rating and better insulate your property for the colder months. Adding A rated double glazing to a gas-heated, semi-detached home can save around £180 a year.

Many modern homes will have double-glazed windows already, especially new builds, but you might still find wooden-framed windows on older properties.

Source: Energy Saving Trust

Solar photovoltaic panels

Solar panels are a more expensive option and may not always be possible depending on the size and layout of your roof, and you may need permission to install them. However, generating much of your power yourself can improve your home’s efficiency, boost your EPC rating and save you money on your energy bills.

LED lighting

It’s possible to make minor changes that don’t involve major renovations to your property. Switching your interior lighting to long-life LED bulbs can improve your rating. Low-energy LEDs tend to last longer and use up less energy than more conventional bulbs.

You can find LED bulbs that fit standard ceiling lights, lamps and more at most high street supermarkets and homeware stores. It’s an easy fix that can save money and energy over time.

Source: Energy Saving Trust

Boiler service

You should be getting your boiler serviced regularly to improve the longevity and safety of your central heating system. Getting specific maintenance, safety and efficiency checks on your boiler can go a long way to enhancing your property’s EPC rating. Meanwhile, replacing an old, inefficient boiler could save you money on your energy bills.

Source: Energy Saving Trust

Block out draughts

Closing up and blocking draughts, such as under doorways, may not have a direct impact on your EPC rating. However, shutting off areas where cold air can squeeze into your property can make your home warmer and more energy efficient. This will then lead to a reduction in your utility bills, improving your EPC rating.

Install a smart meter

Installing a smart meter may make you more aware of how much energy you’re using and encourage you to use less. With live updates on charges, it’s a good way to budget, both financially and in terms of energy use. As we know, lower bills can improve your energy rating.

  • Why is my EPC rating so low?

    A low EPC rating means your home isn’t particularly energy efficient. Expensive bills, poor insulation and single glazing can all contribute to a poor score. You can take steps to improve your rating though and these will be set out in your EPC report.

    Does secondary heating improve my EPC?

    Portable heaters, like plug-in radiators or propane heaters, may have an adverse effect on your energy efficiency rating. If these secondary heat sources are in regular use, it could count as evidence that your home isn’t particularly well-insulated or warm.

    Are electric radiators better than gas?

    They can be. Depending on the cost of electricity compared to gas, electric radiators could be cheaper to run than a central heating system, so may result in a better score for overall efficiency.