Whether you’re wanting to sell your property, rent it out, or simply want to increase your energy efficiency (and make potential energy cost savings), the key is your EPC. Your home’s EPC (or Energy Performance Certificate) is the multi-coloured chart which ranks your home for its gas and electricity efficiency. There’s much more to it than this chart though, it can be a useful document with insightful ways to increase your energy efficiency in the home. So much so, that according to a University of Cambridge Study, increasing your EPC rating could potentially boost your home’s value[i]. From boilers to fireplaces, lofts to lightbulbs, we have 5 top tips for improving your home’s Energy Performance Certificate rating.
Think about replacing an inefficient boiler
‘If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it’ – this might be true in most cases, but when it comes to your boiler, it’s very much the opposite. Replacing your boiler for a more energy efficient model may not only increase your home’s energy rating but could also increase energy bill savings! Did you know that heating accounts for around 55% of the cost of our energy bills in a year? [ii] For many, replacing a boiler is a long-term investment. You might be thinking ‘my boiler isn’t that old and it’s working just fine’, but it’s important to note that boiler age is seldom reflected in your EPC. The Energy Performance Certificate is based upon the efficiency rating of the model of your boiler, regardless of its age or condition. How do you know the difference between a good and a bad boiler? Modern boilers have to display an energy efficiency label (ranking from A-G), which really helps to make an informed choice.
Replace the insulation in your loft
Typically speaking, loft insulation is one of the cheapest ways to insulate your home with easy energy rating points to be won. If you have loft insulation already, it’s worth checking that it’s up to standard and meets the recommended thickness of around 270mm to be most efficient.
Insulate any cavity walls
Cavity wall insulation can seem complicated, but it’s not as big a job as it sounds. Essentially, cavity wall insulation fills the gaps between the external and internal wall, present in some homes built after 1920. Most new build homes are insulated already, but if your house was built before the 1990s, there is a good chance that your home has a wall cavity. If you’re unsure, you can ask a specialist for an inspection and they can determine whether your walls are hollow or filled – if hollow, both your pocket[iii] and your EPC could benefit from cavity wall insulation.
Use an efficient secondary heating source
For times when the central heating isn’t enough, or you want to selectively heat a room, a secondary source of heat is a great idea. An ideal secondary source of heating is a wood burning stove, although they require a fireplace (and therefore annual chimney inspections and cleanings), they provide an unmatchable aesthetic focal point. What’s more, they also score highly on Energy Performance Certificate ratings and are eco-friendly.
Switch old-fashioned lightbulbs to energy efficient ones
Arguably one of the easiest switches to make is your lightbulbs. Now is the perfect time to make the change from less efficient, halogen bulbs to modern, higher efficiency, LED bulbs. As announced by the EU, from 1st September 2018, the sale of halogen lightbulbs in the UK is now prohibited and homeowners are only able to purchase the LED variety. Although slightly more expensive than the average halogen bulb, the potential energy cost savings (and fact that the bulbs last much longer than the halogen competition) make them an easy choice.