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How to improve your home’s EPC rating before winter

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Investing in improving your home’s energy performance certificate (EPC) rating could cut your bills this winter and boost the value of your home.

An EPC reviews how energy efficient your home is and gives it a rating. A property rated A is very energy efficient, while G is the lowest rating possible. Homes with a higher rating are likely to have lower energy bills and be more comfortable in the colder months.

You must have a valid EPC to sell your home, and research suggests a higher rating could boost a property’s market value.

A report in Money Age suggests improvements that take an EPC rating from F to C could boost a property’s value by 15%. For an average property, that’s the equivalent of more than £40,000. It’s estimated the cost of making the improvements would be under £15,000, so homeowners could benefit financially.

Your EPC recommends how you could improve your home’s rating 

If you want to make energy efficiency improvements to your home, a good place to start is by reviewing your EPC.

If you live in England, Wales, or Northern Ireland, you can access your EPC online through the government’s website. If you live in Scotland, you can use the Energy Saving Trust to find your EPC.

The EPC will break down how energy-efficient your home is now and the rating it could reach if you made the recommended improvements.

Each of the improvements includes an estimate of the cost and how much it could cut your energy bill by. It also shows how the steps could add up to boost the EPC rating. So, if you want to make changes that may have a measurable effect on your bills and EPC rating, following the recommendations could be useful.

5 actionable ways you could boost your EPC rating

There are lots of steps you could take to improve your home’s energy efficiency, from installing solar panels to choosing more efficient appliances. Among the most common recommendations on EPCs are the following five.

1. Insulate your property’s walls

Around a third of heat lost in an uninsulated property escapes from the walls. So, if your home doesn’t stay warm for long, this could be a good place to start.

There are several ways to insulate walls and your options will depend on the type of walls your property has. With cavity walls, an insulation specialist can fill the cavity, whereas if you have solid walls, you’d need to add insulation from the inside or outside of your home.

2. Update your windows and external doors

It’s not just the walls of your home that provide a way for heat to escape – inefficient windows and doors could lead to heat loss too.

Your EPC will list the type of windows you have and state how efficient they are but reviewing them and your external doors separately could be useful. You might identify where a cavity or damage to a frame is causing heat loss that you can stem without replacing all your windows.

As well as being more efficient, modern doors and windows could improve the security of your home.

3. Upgrade your boiler

Your heating system is the cornerstone of your home’s energy efficiency. An old, inefficient boiler could really bring your EPC rating down and mean it takes far more energy to heat your home this winter.

A new boiler could set you back thousands of pounds, but it’s a cost that may be worth it if your energy bill falls as a result.

While upgrading your boiler, it might also be useful to look at other changes you could make to your heating system. For instance, installing smart radiator controls could make it easier to only heat the spaces you’re using.

4. Switch to energy-efficient lighting

One of the simplest steps you may take to improve energy efficiency is to switch the lightbulbs throughout your home. An LED bulb could use a fraction of the power of a filament bulb.

While lightbulbs are easy to overlook compared to appliances, the Energy Saving Trust estimates lighting makes up more than 10% of the average household electricity consumption. Switching to more efficient lighting could cut your carbon footprint by up to 50kg a year.

5. Invest in renewable energy

Adding renewable energy sources, such as solar panels or heat pumps, to your home could provide an EPC rating boost and substantially cut your energy bills.

The initial outlay of installing renewable energy sources can be high, so it’s important to understand which option is right for your property. Again, your EPC could provide some useful insight into renewable options or speaking to a local professional could help.

A more energy-efficient home could reduce your mortgage costs

Improving your home’s energy efficiency could help you access a more competitive interest rate on your mortgage.

Green mortgages are available for homeowners that can demonstrate their property meets certain environmental standards. Often, your home will need an EPC rating of A or B to be eligible, but some green mortgages may reward you for updating inefficient properties too.

Lenders might offer incentives for energy-efficient properties, such as a lower interest rate, as they may view them as less risky.

So, investing in improving your EPC rating could cut energy bills, boost your home’s market value, and give you access to more options when you remortgage.

If you’d like to learn more about green mortgages and whether your home could be eligible, please contact us.

Please note: This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.

How to improve your home’s EPC rating before winter

Approved by The Openwork Partnership on 04/09/2023.