Improving Your EPC Rating on a Budget.
When selling your house, it’s unlikely you’ll consider what it’s energy efficiency rating may be. Most likely you’ll be dreaming of your new home. However, will you be considering the energy efficiency of your new home? A more efficient home will save you money on your heating and lighting bills and bring your monthly running costs down. Buyers are taking more and more notice of Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ratings, so it’s best to try and tip the scales in the right direction if you are trying to sell your house. After all, If you had to choose between two identical houses, but one was more efficient than the other, which would you choose?
Here are some potential ways to sneak the energy rating of your property up a bracket or two and wont cost you an arm and a leg!
- Do your homework! – Know your house – An energy assessor will no doubt ask you questions regarding your house. One question in particular that will be asked is: ‘When was the house built?’ This can make a huge difference to your EPC rating. The building regulations are constantly being updated with new minimum thermal performance figures. So being just one year out in your answer could have a detrimental effect on your EPC rating. So it’s best to know the year your house was built, or the age of any extensions. What will it cost you? Nothing!
- Show me your documents! – If you have new doors or windows, show your documentation to the assessor. The assessor can override the default assumptions such as U-values and g-values made by the EPC software to improve the EPC rating. The Assessor may not ask for this information, so ensure you mention it! The same goes for any Solar Panels, extensions, boilers, conservatories, or anything that you can provide thermal performance/efficiency information on. What will it cost you? Nothing!
- Let there be light! – The cost of LED light bulbs has reduced massively over the last few years, meaning you can pick up an LED light bulb for as little as £2. Assuming you need to replace approximately 15 bulbs, That’s an investment of just £30.00! and a nudge towards the next efficiency bracket.
- Get your jacket on! – If you own a hot water cylinder, ensure it is well insulated. You can purchase a decent hot water cylinder jacket for as little as £15.00. It’s potentially another nudge up to the next efficiency bracket!
- Don’t sit in the draft! – Installing new draft proof double glazing is a very costly and disruptive measure. However, when an energy assessor carries out their survey, they should check for draft proofing around all window and door openings, even if you have single glazing and 200 year old doors. Foam strips can be purchased to create tight seals around any window or door openings. It’s simple, and can push your EPC rating up a point or two for around a £20.00 investment.
- Put a woolly hat on! – Loft insulation can make a huge difference to an EPC rating. You could see your rating jump up two whole brackets with this simple measure. If your loft has no insulation, it’s recommended to install 300mm+. You can pick up a roll of 150mm thick insulation which will cover 7m2 for around £17.00. So assuming you have an area of 40m2 to cover, it means you can fully insulate your loft for under £200.00!
- Fill me in… – Arguably not “cheap” but definitely cost effective, you could have your cavity walls filled with insulated for as little as £350.00. This measure will have a massive effect on the EPC rating. The only downside is it doesn’t suit all properties, and can even put buyers off for fear of damp problems. However, the payback on this investment could be as little as 2 years.