How To Improve Energy Efficiency And Increase Your Home’s EPC Rating

EPC tips for homeowners and landlords!

Energy bills in the UK are not getting cheaper. As a result of soaring inflation and the energy crisis from the conflict in Eastern Europe, domestic energy bills have risen by more than 80%. However, by taking several measures to improve your home’s EPC rating, you can not only reduce energy costs but also positively contribute towards protecting the planet. 

What Is An EPC Rating?

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) measures your home’s overall energy efficiency and gives it a rating between A to G, with A being the best energy efficiency rating. EPC ratings are based on professional assessments of sources of heat loss, quality of insulation, type of lighting, and various other factors. For properties with a low rating, the EPC offers recommendations on how to improve energy efficiency. 

The Importance Of A Good EPC Rating

In addition to lowering energy bills and a reduced environmental impact, a good EPC rating can increase your property’s value by up to 10%. Energy-efficient homes that don’t cost a fortune to run are attractive to home buyers and renters. This means that you may be able to raise the rent and tenants are more likely to stay longer with fewer defaults because they spend less on electricity and heating. 
A good EPC rating will also make a home more durable and minimize repair and maintenance costs. For example, adequate insulation and a good ventilation system without leaks will help avoid condensation and dampness that causes wood to rot and mold build up. 

7 Proven Ways To Improve Energy Efficiency In Your Home

External wall insulation

The external walls comprise the largest surface area of a home and therefore the main source of heat loss. By insulating the external walls alone, property owners can save up to 35% on energy costs. The type of insulation is determined by whether your external walls are solid or have a cavity. 
This type of insulation comes with decorative finishes, so it is best to carry out this project when renovating the property. The installation of awnings or roller shutters can also have a lasting positive effect on the indoor climate and help avoid high indoor temperatures in the summer. 

Roof insulation

Warm air inside the home tends to rise. Insulating your roof will prevent this heat from escaping outside unhindered. You also avoid unwanted heat from entering the home in the summer. With an insulated roof, it is possible to make savings on heating/cooling costs of up to 30%. In addition, an attic that used to suffer extreme temperatures can now be used as living space. 

Replacement of windows & doors

When assessing the energy efficiency of most old homes and apartments, the windows and doors are often the weakest points. Up to 25% of the heat from a room can be lost here. Upgrading to modern doors and windows can raise your home’s EPC rating and lower energy costs significantly. 
Double/triple glazed windows and fully glazed doors not only improve thermal insulation and reduce dampness, but they also prevent draughts and minimize noise from the outside. 

Energy efficient heating systems

Central heating systems in UK homes have an average age of over 10 years. This means that most are outdated and do not make optimal use of the fuel used. This significantly increases operating costs in times of rising fuel prices while having a negative impact on the environment. Replacing these old heating systems offers a high potential for energy savings compared to other measures. 
When getting a new heating system, however, it is important to first evaluate the energy efficiency of the entire house. If the heat from the new system escapes through a leaky roof or gaps in your windows, this measure becomes ineffective.

Install or replace the ventilation system

A ventilation system in the house ensures clean dry air that is easier to heat which significantly improves the EPC rating of a property. This effectively prevents mold from building up in living spaces. Ventilation systems with heat recovery return the heat from the extracted air to the freshly drawn air via a heat exchanger. 
Heat therefore remains in the room and about 90% of the heating energy is retained in the house or apartment. 

Solar panels

The power of the sun can be harnessed to drastically improve the energy efficiency of a home. In solar photovoltaic panels, electricity is generated from sunlight through the photoelectric effect. This power can then either be consumed in the household, fed to the public power grid, or stored in battery banks. Another option here is the installation of a solar water heater. 
This can cover over 50% of the annual hot water requirements and thus significantly reduce energy bills.

Basement ceiling insulation

Because basements are usually cold and damp, properly insulating the basement ceiling is a good starting point when looking to save energy costs in the home. Here, insulation panels are applied to ensure that heat from the upper levels is no longer lost to the cold basement. 
Basement ceiling insulation is one of the most effective EPC improvement measures as it offers a high energy-saving potential at reasonable costs and noticeably improves living comfort.

Additional Energy-Saving Tips

These additional small steps have a positive effect on energy efficiency and do not require structural changes to the house or apartment:
Unplug devices: By completely switching off devices that run in standby mode, you can save a few pounds each month on electricity bills. 
Use rechargeable batteries: Rechargeable batteries are much cheaper than regular batteries in the long term. Remember to always unplug battery chargers after use.
Fold clothes to save electricity: The power consumption of irons should not be underestimated so iron only when it is necessary. For further energy saving, make use of the residual heat by unplugging the iron earlier and ironing the last few clothing items.
Fill up the dishwasher: Use the maximum capacity of your dishwasher and use the ECO mode if available. This not only saves electricity but also water.
Use the right lighting: Proper use of the lighting in your home significantly improves energy efficiency and lowers electricity bills. Switch to low-energy LED lighting, illuminate only the space you are using and remember to turn off the lights when you leave a room. 
Wash at lower temperatures: Thanks to advancements in detergents and washing machine technology, 40° C is sufficient to effectively clean normally soiled laundry. Whenever possible, always air-dry your laundry. 

Get in Touch!

If you’re looking for ways to increase the energy efficiency of your home, Refresh Renovations are here to walk you through all of the latest energy saving ideas for your home, especially when it comes to renovating spaces. Get in touch today!

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