- Home Buyers Largely Ignored Energy Performance Certificates for Years
- But now the bills are higher, a house with a good score can save a lot of money
- Here are eight ways to increase your property’s energy efficiency
Both temperatures and house prices have seen drops recently, and better home energy efficiency could help us address both problems.
This is because there is a new interest on the part of owners, sellers and buyers in the Energy Efficiency Certificate of each home.
An EPC indicates the energy efficiency of the home from A (very good) to G (bad) and you can check yours on the government website.
Lower bills: An EPC indicates the energy efficiency of the home from A (very good) to G (poor)
For years after EPC was first introduced in 2007, it was largely ignored by buyers, but now interest is increasing thanks to rising energy bills.
The latest price cap imposed by energy regulator Ofgem, which applies to 29 million homes in England, Scotland and Wales, is £1,923 a year. This is less than last winter, but more than two years ago, when the limit was £1,277.
As a result, buyers are paying attention to EPCs and Propertymark, the trade body for estate agents, says only 15 per cent of buyers now ask no questions about a home’s energy efficiency.
Inevitably, more modern homes are likely to be more energy efficient: 85 per cent received an EPC A or B, compared to just 4 per cent of older properties, according to a study by the Home Builders Federation.
But there is now a push among owners of older properties, especially those who want to sell them in the near future, to modernize energy-efficient heating, lighting and insulation.
So, if you’re taking the plunge and putting your home on the market soon, what improvements can improve your EPC and sales price and sellability?
How to increase your EPC rating
About a third of all the heat lost in a poorly insulated house is produced through the walls, so if you have hollow walls, fill them with insulation material.
If you have solid walls, insulate them inside or out. The Government’s Great British Isolation Scheme offers grants for the lowest income households.
Insulating under ground floor floorboards is very effective in properties of any size, while sealing between floorboards and filling gaps between floors and skirting boards keeps drafts at bay, and can be done with minimal DIY skills.
The Energy Saving Trust says that even homes with some loft insulation rarely have enough. Aim for 270mm of insulation.
Low consumption lighting
If the average home were to replace traditional and halogen light bulbs with energy-efficient LED lights, this would cost around £90.
hot water tank
Hot water cylinder liners are economical and easy to install. A British standard one should be 80mm thick.
Get a smart meter
Provided by your energy provider, it provides near real-time information on energy usage and reduces the need for irritating estimated bills, allowing for better budgeting.
Buy a condensing boiler
An A-rated boiler with thermostatic radiator valves costs £5,000, but will attract potential buyers and increase your EPC.
Install double glazing
Low-E PVC is the cheapest and wooden frames cost the most.
On the market… and best valued