An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating shows how energy efficient your home is. The certificate provides a score for your property, as well as what changes could be made to improve it and what score the property could have if those alterations were carried out. It’s a necessity for anyone who wishes to rent or sell a domestic or commercial property. Below, you can find out more about the scoring system, as well as how to improve your EPC rating.
Understanding the EPC rating system
Using a scale of A to G, your property will be provided with a letter that reflects how much energy is used or how much is wasted. In order to see what letter rating your property has, an assessment must be carried out of your home or business. An assessor will look at things such as the age of your boiler, the glazing of windows and doors, ventilation, insulation and more. Then, using the government’s Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP), the property will be provided with a score out of 100, 100 being the most efficient and 1 being the least efficient. Depending on your score, the property be placed into a letter band accordingly.
What is an EPC rating A?
If your home gets an A rating, it will have received a SAP score of 92 to 100. It’s thought that less than one per cent of homes in the UK have an A rating, so it’s very difficult to make your home this efficient.
What is an EPC rating D?
An EPC rating of D is the average in the UK, and D-rated homes will have received a SAP score of 55 to 68.
How to improve your EPC rating
Insulation is one of the best ways to make a building more efficient. When a property is sufficiently insulated, less heat is lost. Your heating system uses the most energy in your home, and so good insulation can decrease your heating bills and keep your home warmer.
Contrary to popular belief, the majority of the heat in your home is lost through the walls and floors, not the roof. Therefore, insulating these areas is going to be of most benefit. This can be done with cavity wall insulation.
SAP score increase: 13
Despite most heat being lost through the walls and floor, around 25 per cent is still lost through the roof of your home. It’s important to have thick insulation lining either the walls of the roof, the floor of the attic or both. Loft insulation should be at least 270mm thick in order for it to work at its best, so if your current insulation is thinner than this, consider topping it up with a new layer.
SAP score increase: 10
While most people think to insulate their home’s walls and loft, many forget to insulate their hot water tank. These tanks need to keep the water hot for as long as possible so that it can be used throughout the day. As it cools down, the boiler needs to reheat it all ready for use again. Proper cylinder insulation is so important as it can keep this water hotter for longer. The more heat that’s kept in, the less hard your heating system needs to work to reheat it, therefore saving energy.
Hot water tank insulated jackets are available to purchase and can easily be fitted to the tank.
SAP score increase: 6
Most homes do now have double or even triple glazing, but if your home is still single glazed, you could see a huge reduction in cold draughts. As more heat can stay trapped in your home, the heating system doesn’t have to work as hard, so you can save quite a bit of energy by upgrading your windows. Double glazing could see your SAP score increase by five points, but triple glazing could see an improvement of up to eight points.
SAP score increase: 5
Making the switch to low-energy bulbs takes hardly any time at all and could reduce the amount of energy your home or business consumes in lighting. LED bulbs are more efficient and eco-friendly and can last for much longer than filament bulbs. This could mean that, while you’re making an initial investment, you’ll save money in the long run by not having to purchase replacements as often.
SAP score increase: 3
Doing all of the above could see your SAP score increase by up to 37 points, taking your home from a D to a C or even higher.
How to get an EPC A rating
As we’ve seen above, there are some relatively straightforward changes that you can make at home to boost your EPC rating, or at least bring your SAP score up by a few points. However, it’s much more difficult to get your home to the standard of an A rating. For some older properties, this prospective rating might actually be impossible to achieve because of the materials that the building is made from. New build homes are much more likely to reach a rating of A or B.
To achieve an A rating, you will need to create electricity on site. This means that you will need either solar panels or a small wind turbine, like the one pictured above, that can generate usable electricity. Without this, it would be impossible to achieve such a high SAP score. In theory, the SAP score can go over 100, making your rating A+ unofficially. However, in order to do this, the property would likely need to create more energy than it uses.
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