EPC Ratings: What are they and How can You Improve Yours? - thumbnail image

EPC Ratings: What are they and How can You Improve Yours?

Today our team of solar panels installers North East residents recommend are telling you what Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ratings are and why it’s important that you strive to improve yours.


An EPC certificate is designed to help potential buyers compare the energy performance of different properties at a glance. EPC ratings also give an indication of how much a building will cost to power, what the carbon dioxide emissions will be like and any potential energy efficiency improvements.


Below, we have described exactly what an EPC rating is used for, as well as suggesting a few measures that you can enforce to improve your rating.


What is an EPC Rating?


Every home that is built, sold or rented in the UK needs an EPC.


In brief terms, an EPC rating is a score given to a property, after a review of its energy efficiency. A property’s EPC rating is given based on the amount of energy used per ㎡ and the level of carbon dioxide emissions per year. Every home needs a valid EPC before it can be sold.


EPC ratings span from a grade A to a grade G, with A being the most efficient. The higher the EPC rating, the lower a home’s energy bills are likely to be. At the moment, the average EPC rating for homes in England and Wales is a grade D. EPC ratings are given based on a system of Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) points.


For a full breakdown of how many SAP points you need to reach each grade check out this diagram:


Understanding your EPC Certificate by Thrift Energy the best solar panels installers north east households can use


How do I Find Out My Home’s EPC Rating?


You may have already encountered your home’s EPC when you were moving in.


If you have a copy of this document you might be ready to call Thrift Energy, the Solar Panels Installers North East homeowners trust, and start improving your home’s energy efficiency. However, you need to make sure your EPC is in date first! It is important to note that EPCs are valid for 10 years. If you need a new EPC, the only professionals that can produce one for you are domestic energy assessors with accreditation.


If you do not have an EPC rating, or it is out of date, you can use a government service if your residence is in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. Alternatively, if you are unsure if you have a Valid EPC rating or you cannot find the document, there is a separate government service for this.


Getting a new EPC certificate can cost £60- £120 according to HomeOwners Alliance. Although this can be costly for those watching the pennies, it could help you to save money in the long run. 


How Can I Improve My Rating?


Improving your home’s energy efficiency will make your home warmer and a more comfortable place. It can also improve your home’s value. There are lots of measures you can take to improve your rating.


An incredibly useful feature of your EPC is that it actually offers you guidance on how to improve your rating. This comes in the form of a recommendations section. 


The recommendations section is simple to read and it breaks down the information in a helpful manner. The section includes a table that lists recommended measures, an estimate of how much they will cost, how much money installing these solutions could save you on energy per year and how much it could positively impact your rating.


The range of recommendations can vary depending on the size and age of your house. Another factor that could vary the nature of recommendations you receive is whether your home is terraced, semi detached or detached. 


Examples of Recommendations that You may Find in Your EPC:

  • To install types of insulation including external, internal or cavity wall, loft and underfloor.
  • To upgrade single glazed windows to double glazed. 
  • Upgrading boilers.
  • Utilising solar power.


Another useful feature of the recommendations section is that it tells you whether the improvements might be covered by green deal finance. This means that if you are eligible, you may be able to make the improvements at a fraction of the usual cost (keep reading for more information about this). 


Below, we explore how insulation and upgrading your boiler can improve your home’s EPC rating in more depth. If you’re asking ‘does solar PV improve your EPC?’ we have the answer to that question too.


Insulate the Walls and Roof


Insulation is an extremely popular energy efficiency measure. Installing new or extra insulation in your home is actually cheaper than alternate improvements. Typically, an uninsulated roof loses around a quarter of a home’s heat. Installing loft insulation that’s around 270mm thick will significantly improve your EPC rating.


Wall insulation is also an effective way to improve your energy rating. Cavity wall insulation is typically used on newer homes and is a cheap method that can have a huge impact on your overall energy rating. Older homes tend to be more suitable for solid wall insulation. Although it can be more expensive, you will make significant improvements by installing internal or external wall insulation. If this has left you thinking ‘do I have external wall insulation installers near me?’, the answer is YES! The Thrift Energy will be delighted to help you.


Install an Efficient Boiler

An effective home heating system is crucial to raising your EPC rating. Switching an old boiler for one that is more energy efficient can increase your EPC score by 40 points. Given that the minimum score for an EPC rating is 39, this change could get you onto the board in one fell swoop. Although the average cost of a new premium boiler is up to £2,500, you will see a rapid return on investment in the form of lower energy bills.


Hopefully, next time your home gets an EPC rating, you will see a significant improvement in the score you get. With so many energy efficiency measures on the market, it won’t be long before the average grade in the UK can rise from a D to an A!


Why should I Follow the Recommendations Made in My EPC?


When you look at the recommendations on your EPC ratings page, your first thought might be that installing these measures is going to be too expensive and cause too much inconvenience. 


However, taking advantage of green deal finance opportunities could make these options much more affordable. If you are looking to make improve your EPC rating based on your recommendations and you need some excellent insulation or solar panel installers in the North East why not find out if you are eligible for funding through Thrift Energy?


Installing recommended energy efficiency solutions will definitely pay off in the long term. As having a more energy efficient home means that you will use less energy, you will therefore save more money on your energy bills as time goes by. 


Although it has always been worth reducing energy consumption to lower energy bills, the urgency people have to do so has never been higher. If you have been following the news, or you are the bill payer for your household, it is likely that you have seen your energy bills increase significantly in recent months. 


Improving your home’s energy efficiency based on EPC recommendations is one of the most proactive things you can do to keep your energy costs down during times of uncertainty. 


Following your EPC’s recommendations can also be beneficial to the environment. Working to reduce energy consumption can decrease your reliance on using energy generated by burning fossil fuels which are a well known pollutant. 

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