If your house needs an EPC certificate, there a few really easy things you can do without spending too much money. Things like upgrading your boiler or installing cavity wall insulation will have a big effect on your EPC score, but also on your bank balance. Here we take a look at three low cost things you can do to improve your EPC score. You won’t skip three bands with these tips, but they’ll definitely swing the needle in your favour and save a few £ on your energy bills!
Table Of Contents
- Energy Efficient Bulbs
- Programable Thermostats
- Loft Insulation
- Large EPC Improvements
- EPC Consultation
We’ve identified three areas of the Energy Performance Certificate where, with a small investment, you can make up a few points that could push you into the next band.
Energy Efficient Bulbs
Straightforward. You’ve heard this a thousand times before but low energy lighting uses a fraction of the energy as a traditional bulb. When carrying out an EPC we’re looking for either a traditional energy saving bulb or a more modern LED bulb. We also notice that not many homes have energy saving bulbs in every fitting. Before your EPC survey, it’s worth checking every bulb in your home to squeeze out every last point. Remember, we’re only looking a fixed ceiling or wall lights. Lamps are ignored during the EPC assessment.
Energy saving bulbs have come a long way from the first CFL bulbs that took 10 minutes to warm up before they got to full brightness. The strange shaped bulb was little use if you were going in to a room to quickly find something. LED bulbs are much better. They look like a traditional bulb, are at full brightness instantly and use very little energy.
Smart bulbs use LED technology. We like the Philips Hue system where you can get a full range of bulbs and fitting types that let you schedule when your lights go on and off as well as connectivity to smart speakers.
To be able to control exactly when your heating comes on and then turns off will get you a few additional points on the EPC. Ideally were looking for a room thermostat too and a programmable thermostat provides both functions in one device.
There are loads of these devices on the market to suit every budget. One of the most popular is the EPH CP4. It’s cheap, easy to use and ticks the ‘programmable’ and ‘thermostat’ boxes on the EPC. For the full suite, Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRV) will provide room by room control of your heating system and max out your SAP points on the EPC in this area.
If you want to push the boat out a bit, there are loads of smart thermostats available too. Just remember, when we are carrying out an EPC, we need to see a device that is programmable on the unit itself, i.e. not through an app. The Hive is smart, programmable thermostat which satisfies the EPC requirements and provides full automation capabilities including connecting to smart speakers. Alexa, turn the heating on!
Building regs currently recommend a minimum of 270mm of loft insulation in your home. If you don’t have this, You’ll lose points on your EPC and are probably losing excessive heat through your roof. During EPC assessments we’ve noticed that a large percentage of homes don’t even have half of the 270mm. If you want to make sure you improve your EPC score, top up your insulation before the EPC survey.
A couple of notes to remember around loft insulation and EPCs. First, make sure that the insulation is not being compressed by items sat on top of it or any boarding. Second, make sure that all areas of the loft are covered with the insulation. If there is any patchy, compressed or missing insulation, this makes the EPC difficult and we have to note what we see. If 200mm of loft insulation is compressed to 100mm, we mark down 100mm. If there is any insulation missing, we have to make sure this is reflected on the survey.
Loft legs are a great idea that will give you a storage space in your loft whilst maintaining the full benefit of the insulation. They raise the boarding above the insulation so it is not compressed.
Large EPC Improvements
If you are looking for upgrades that could potentially jump you a band or two, this is possible but it will come at a cost. If the property has an old boiler upgrading this to a new efficient model like the Viessman Vitodens 050 can have a large impact. We always recommend a ‘fabric first’ approach to increasing your EPC score. Insulate what you can before any technology. Cavity wall insulation or internal solid wall insulation will greatly reduce the amount of heat lost through the walls. Finally, consider solar PV. We’ve worked with a few landlords to get their properties to a band C and PV has always got them there.
If you have a target in mind, like band C for most landlords, we can provide you with a clear path to get there. Give us a call on 01925 699 321 to arrange an appointment and we’ll show you what you need to do. We’ll assess your property and run all the different scenarios which will show us the most cost effective way to get to your goal.