If you own or rent a property in the UK, you will probably be aware of having to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). It is a legal requirement in the UK to provide an EPC when you are selling or renting out your property. The EPC rating enables the potential renter or buyer to know how energy efficient the building is. Our team at EPC London can provide you with this information. This information can prove to be essential in firstly understanding the impact of the building on the environment, but also in predicting the rough cost of energy bills in the future.
An EPC will not only give you an accurate snapshot of how energy efficient a building is at that particular time but also give you recommendations into how the property owners can improve the energy efficiency of a building, This can be invaluable in both helping to reduce the impact on the environment, lowering energy bills, and, ultimately, making the building more attractive to buyers or renters.
One of the sections in the EPC gives you recommendations about how to improve the building’s energy rating. Some of these recommendations will include:
- Double glazing – Changing single pane windows to double glazing, adding an extra layer of air between panes and reducing the amount of heat lost through convection or conduction. By double glazing your windows you can also eliminate the possibility of losing heat from around the outside of the windows and cold drafts.
- Wall Insulation – Depending on the type of construction of the building, wall insulation might be possible. For those who have a cavity between the inside and outside walls, this can be filled with insulating material by injecting it via small holes on the outside or inside of the property. If you don’t have a cavity in the walls, another possibility is external wall insulation whereby an insulating material is sprayed or cladded onto the outside (or inside) of the building’s external walls. This will keep the heat in, in the winter and out in the summer.
- Loft Insulation – A lot of heat can be lost through the roof of a building. If when it snows it melts on the roof of a building, this is a good sign that there is a lot of heat escaping through it. One solution is to lay a significant amount of loft insulation material on the floor of the loft, keeping the heat inside your house. The recommended depth of loft insulation at the moment is 250mm to 270mm.
- Replacing the boiler – Old boilers can be extremely inefficient when it comes to the amount of energy that they use. It might be worthwhile replacing your old one with a new and more energy efficient boiler.
- Secondary heating sources – Although your primary heating sources are important, some secondary heating sources such as a wood burning stove can be more energy efficient than others – such as an open fire. Therefore, by switching your secondary heating sources, you can help to make the building better for the environment.
- Low energy lightbulbs – The type of lighting that you have in your property can significantly affect its energy usage. At the moment, LED lighting is the most energy efficient way to light your property.
- Solar Panels – Solar photovoltaic panels are an excellent way to drastically reduce the amount of energy that you use. They can take the energy from the sun and convert it into energy – usually used to heat water. Solar panels are usually put on the roof of a building, and although they can be a little costly to install, should result in significant savings in the long run and will usually put your energy use into the negative – even in the dingy British weather!
The Green Deal
Your EPC will also give you details about whether these energy saving measures can be carried out as part of the Green Deal. The Green Deal is a government initiative where they encourage people to make energy-saving improvements to their home (such as the recommendations above) by helping with grants and options of how to pay for them.
If you have energy generating measures such as solar panels, there are also options for feed-in tariffs to make it extra worthwhile for building owners.
An EPC is important for any tenants or property owners who are concerned about energy saving (and saving money on their energy bills). Although it is useful to know how energy efficient it is, an EPC’s highest value, is perhaps in its recommendations of how the building’s energy efficiency can be improved.