Thinking back to when the Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) were first introduced in August 2007, estate agents really were not so pleased about it. We couldn’t understand where EPC’s had suddenly appeared from, or why they were needed.
“Just another hurdle for home sellers to have to jump over, and another expense for home sellers to have to find money to cover” we were grumbling between each other, keeping in mind that in 2007 an Energy Performance Certificate wasn’t the £60 that they can be today, instead they were more around the £150 – £200 mark, as there were barely any trained EPC assessors in existence.
Fast forward to 2022 and the Energy Performance Certificate‘s now make sense. The public have been warmed to the idea that, for whatever reason, the climate is changing and steps really do need to be taken to help curb the human element of climate change. It would seem that in 2007 someone somewhere was planning ahead with the introduction of the Energy Performance Certificate.
After 15 years the EPC has now become a key focus of home buyers, and also of banks with the introduction of Green Mortgages, which for now can be applied for with a new build home purchase in the UK, but, in the not so distant future will also be available for all homes in return for better mortgage rates, where the home buyer with a Green Mortgage will need to agree with the bank how exactly they will improve the EPC of a property over a period of time, a little like a business plan of sorts.
This means that from now onward, home sellers will want to make sure that their EPC has as many points as possible so that their properties EPC rating is as close to A as possible, because points will mean buyers!
Here are five easy changes to increase your EPC rating:
Insulation is fundamental to an EPC assessor, as an uninsulated property can lose up to 25% of its heat through the roof! The cheapest and quickest insulation that a home owner can get, is loft insulation, which can gain your 20 points for your EPC rating.
If you already have insulation, but it is below the recommended 270mm insulation, then giving your insulation a top up will also gain you some points.
HOT WATER CYLINDER
Although they’re not the prettiest of things to look at, it doesn’t really matter because they’re usually closed away in a cupboard, however, covering your hot water cylinder with a hot water cylinder jacket, you can earn up to 5 points on your EPC! Hot water cylinder jackets are easy to buy and they only cost around £20.
REPLACE ALL OF
With the savings that you can make by changing lightbulbs, this is something that every homeowner should do anyway, regardless of an EPC! Because you you will be surprised at just how much you can save from your annual bills in the longterm by changing your troublesome little Halogens for LED …Probably much more money than you realise…
Yes it is true that LED bulbs are more expensive to buy than Halogen bulbs, however, in the long term they will use 90% less energy than Halogen bulbs and last 12-15 times longer! …No think about how many bulbs you have in your home burning money away! The most common recommendation to find on an EPC will be to replace the lightbulbs.
The slightly more costly change that you can make, which is the biggest contribution to Energy Performance Certificate points after insulation, is to focus on your properties heating system, where an old and haggard boiler can be dramatically pulling your points down. If you change to an A-rated boiler, then you could increase your EPC by 20 points, as well as save £300 per year from your heating bill!
This change will only cost you your time.
If you have had work carried out to your property that could improve your EPC rating, but do not have your paperwork to prove it, then you will find that an EPC assessor will have no choice but to make assumptions about the property, which will frustratingly not be in favour of your EPC.
Say for example you cannot get into your attic, for whatever reason, to prove that your attic has been insulated. If you also cannot provide paperwork to prove that your attic has been insulated, then the EPC assessor will have little option other than to assume that there is no attic insulation, which could mean that you lose out on a whopping 20 points for your EPC!
If you have paperwork to show how your property has been maintained since you have owned it, proving any work carried out, then your EPC should fair much better than it would have without any of that paperwork.
WILL ARRANGE YOUR EPC
If your Energy Performance Certificate has run out, then you cannot market your home until it is renewed, however, you will not need to worry. Robinson David Estate Agents has many working relationships with excellent local businesses across Gloucestershire, some based in Gloucester, some based in Stroud, and others based in Cheltenham. One of these working relationships that we have is with an EPC accessor, Sam, who is friendly, fast, and efficient, who we will connect you with before marketing your home.