for borrowers

Improving your home’s energy efficiency

There hasn’t been much focus on choosing a home based on its green credentials, until now…

 

When thinking of ‘greener living’, most people will consider buying an electric car, recycling more, or choosing to buy from sustainable brands. However, there are lots of things we can do at home to help save energy and in turn support a more sustainable society. And as energy-efficient homes often have lower energy bills, it could help save you money too.

 

What’s an EPC and why do they matter?

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) tells you how energy efficient, or green, the home is. Each property is given a score from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and are valid for 10 years.

Your EPC will also include tips on how you can improve your homes efficiency, such as those highlighted below. Alongside these recommendations, you get the:

  • potential cost of the improvements
  • estimated costs of heating, lighting and hot water following improvements, and;
  • total potential savings


You’ll need an EPC whenever your property is built, sold or rented. And most homes are required to have one, although there are some exemptions such as listed buildings or those in conservation areas which are legally exempt

 

Ways to improve your EPC rating

There are a number of ways to improve your home’s EPC rating and reduce your carbon emissions;

  • Install double or triple glazed windows
  • Insulate the walls and loft (you could even get your water cylinder a nice new insulating jacket)
  • Replace your boiler for a more energy efficient one
  • Add solar panels
  • Replace light bulbs with LED ones

 

How to get an EPC

You can obtain an EPC through an accredited assessor here.

 

Other energy saving tips

Although these may not help improve your EPC rating, they are a more sustainable way of living (and you may save some pennies).

  • Switch off any used lights
  • Shut the curtains to help keep the warmth in and draft out (don’t cover radiators)
  • Turn down the heating – the Energy Saving Trust suggests a comfortable temperature is typically between 18° and 21°
  • Switch off standby on electrical items, such as your telly
  • Wash your clothes on a 30° cycle and with a full load


Energy Savings Trust
has lots of useful advice and support to householders on how to save energy and reduce carbon emissions.

 

Are EPCs likely to become a bigger deal?

There are a number of factors that are likely to make the awareness and importance of EPCs increase in the near future:

  • The Government has been discussing achieving a rating of ‘C’ for all homes by 2030
  • An increase in fuel costs will encourage people to make their homes more energy efficient
  • For people who are moving house, they’re more likely to factor in potential costs of ‘greening’ their home post purchase

 

(Information sourced from gov.uk, November 2021)

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