A recent report by mortgage broker Habito estimates that the cost of upgrading a house from an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of D to a C will cost £6,155. This means the total cost of retrofitting all older properties in the UK could be as high as £38bn.
Habito’s analysis revealed that it will cost roughly £3,653 to upgrade a one-bedroom flat from EPC D to C, while a small mid-terrace house is likely to cost up to £6,400. Larger detached homes are expected to cost around £12,540 in energy-saving improvements, which is more than double the national average.
What is an EPC?
An EPC is a report that shows how energy-efficient your property is. EPC assessors have a wealth of experience and will conduct a thorough energy efficiency survey on your house. They will then provide you with advice to help you reduce your energy costs and carbon footprint. Here is some of the information that you will find on the EPC report:
- The amount of energy your home uses.
- The amount of CO2 it produces.
- Recommendations to reduce its carbon footprint and save money on energy costs.
As part of the EPC, your home will also be given an energy rating of A-G. The most energy-efficient homes given an A rating and the least energy-efficient receive a G.
What is the average EPC rating?
The 2021 Energy Efficiency of Housing in England & Wales Report shows that the average EPC rating in England is D, with the majority of houses receiving an energy efficiency score of 66 in England. Most houses in Wales are also in the D band, with an average energy score of 64.
Many new houses are constructed with energy efficiency in mind and are rated as EPC C or above. On the other hand, most older properties score E or below as they generally lack efficiency measures such as double-glazing and wall cavity insulation.
Do I need to improve my EPC rating?
There are currently no legal requirements for homeowners in the UK to achieve a minimum EPC rating. However, the government are discussing introducing new energy efficiency rules that would force all properties to have an EPC rating of C or above. This is part of the government’s Clean Growth Strategy which aims to make the UK net-zero by 2050.
If these new regulations come into effect, then all homeowners with an EPC rating of D or below would be forced to carry out energy-saving upgrades to increase their energy rating to a C. Even though it is not currently a requirement to improve your EPC score, there are many benefits to achieving a higher rating.
How can I increase my EPC rating to a C?
If, like the majority of properties in the UK, your home has an EPC rating of D, then you should be able to increase your rating to a C fairly easily. Here are some of the best ways to improve your home’s energy rating:
Replace your light bulbs
Traditional incandescent light bulbs drain your electricity and replacing them with LEDs can save you significant amounts of energy. According to experts at frankgattolighting.com “LEDs are as much as 90% more effective than incandescent light bulbs, meaning they have a much longer lifespan and are less susceptible to faults.”
Increase your insulation
If your home has poorly insulated walls, then you could be losing massive amounts of heat, which is bad for the environment and your bank account! Adding an extra layer of insulation is one of the most obvious yet effective ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
Don’t forget to also check that your roof is properly insulated as this can be a major source of heat loss.
Replace your boiler
Replacing your boiler can be expensive, but it could have a big impact on your EPC rating and reduce your home’s carbon footprint significantly. Modern boilers are much more efficient, meaning they use less energy and cost less to run.
As it stands, there are no legal requirements for homeowners to improve their EPC rating, although all properties must have an EPC before being sold, leased, or constructed. However, the government is currently discussing enforcing new regulations that would require all property owners to achieve an EPC rating of C or above.
Improving your EPC rating to a C can bring about many benefits. This includes cheaper energy bills, a lower carbon footprint, and a greener and healthier society.