How to improve your home’s energy rating – and cut the cost of your energy bills
Making your home more energy efficient can have a big impact on your energy bills
If you’re not sure where to get started, an Energy Performance Certificate can tell you all the energy-saving measures you can introduce that could save you money.
Here’s what you need to know.
What is an Energy Performance Certificate?
Since 2007, it’s been a legal requirement to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for your property when you come to sell it or let it out.
The EPC shows how energy efficient your home is, with properties rated on a scale from A (very efficient) to G (very inefficient). Each property’s rating is worked out by measuring the amount of energy used per m² and the carbon dioxide emissions in tonnes per year.
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You can view your property’s EPC rating online via the EPC Register.
Not only do properties with higher EPC ratings cost less to run, but they can also increase a property’s value by an average of 14%, according to government research.
It’s a legal requirement for landlords in England and Wales to have a minimum rating of E before letting or selling a property. Landlords who fail to meet this requirement will face a fine of up to £150,000, depending on the value of the property.
How can I improve my property’s rating?
Your EPC certificate will include specific recommendations for improving your property’s energy performance. These are shown in which order they should be completed, as the example below shows.
However, some of the measures, such as replacing single-glazed windows or paying for a new boiler, can be costly. For example, upgrading your boiler to mid-range combi boiler will easily set you back by a minimum of £1,500.
The good news is there are plenty of other ways to increase your EPC rating without breaking the bank.
Insulating your water tank and pipes can keep your water hotter for longer and if you do it yourself it should set you back less than £50. The Energy Saving Trust says that topping up your hot water tank insulation from 22mm to 80mm could save you about £20 a year, more than the typical £15 cost of the jacket.
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Insulating your loft can also help reduce both your energy bills and your property’s carbon dioxide emissions. The average cost of installing this is £300 and you can save upwards of £120 per year on your heating bills.
Simple things such as replacing traditional bulbs with more efficient alternatives like CFL (compact fluorescent light) or LED bulbs can also lower your electricity bills. These types of bulb consume at least 75% less power than halogen bulbs and have a much longer life expectancy.
Switch and save
Making your home more energy efficient isn’t the only way to save money on your gas and electricity bills. Switching energy providers can also cut costs substantially, especially if you’re currently on a standard tariff.
According to Energyhelpline.com, on average, those who switch could save a potential £300 on their energy bills over the course of a year.
Don’t put it off until the winter, even if heating bills are currently the last thing on your mind. Your account is more likely to be balance or in credit in the summer months than it is when the weather is colder and you may have to pay off a balance to complete a switch.