It is estimated that buildings produce nearly half of this country’s carbon emissions - almost double that of cars and planes.
The introduction of Energy Performance Certificates a decade ago was designed to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, and yet a number of homes still rank poorly.
With a growing appetite for innovation in areas like renewable power in the home, homeowners, including buy-to-let landlords, could reap significant competitive advantages by shifting to a ‘green’ model of potentially adding value to a home.
Here are some top tips from Everest on how to improve your EPC rating:
1. Insulate your house
A quarter of household heat is lost through the roof. Loft insulation is easy to install and a relatively inexpensive place to start when improving the energy efficiency of your home. The recommendation of rock wool is 270mm minimum depth.
If your house is suitable (seek professional advice) for cavity wall insulation you can expect a considerable retention of the third of heat lost through uninsulated walls.
2. Replace your windows for double glazing
Older windows can be responsible for 40% of the heat loss in your house. Installing high performance glazing will make a significant difference to the energy efficiency of a home.
To understand what the independent ratings for different windows and glazing mean, this page explains what to look for in an energy-efficient window.
3. Replace your halogen spotlights with LED bulbs
Since 2018, halogen bulbs are being phased out and removed from sale across Europe.
An LED spotlight can last for 20-30 years in comparison to a halogen bulb that has a working life of only two years. By swopping ten halogen bulbs for LED bulbs, savings of £112 a year can be made over a long-term period.
Installing LED bulbs in all lamps and lighting fixtures is a cheap and easy way to improve your EPC rating (although marginally).
4. Replace an old boiler for an energy efficient version
An EPC rating is calculated on the cost of energy that supplies your heating system. As heating is a considerable chunk of your energy costs at 55% this is where significant saving and improvements to your bills and your EPC ratings can be made.
By replacing an old boiler that has an appliance rating of ‘G’ with a new A-rated boiler that includes a programmer and thermostat, an annual saving of £305 can be made (based on a detached house).
5. Installing renewable energy sources
If your home has implemented all other energy efficiency measures then installing solar panels, biomass boilers and ground-source heat pumps will dramatically increase an EPC rating.
To achieve the highest EPC ratings a property would require some form of renewable energy.
By installing solar panels a G-rated, semi-detached house could make a saving of £311 per year.