With the autumn and winter months fast approaching, thoughts turn to one thing for many households – rising energy bills. Energy bills are always a hot topic, with many people wanting to improve their property’s rating to ensure lower bills when the cooler months arrive. For those selling up and moving onto pastures new, improving your property rating becomes even more of a priority.
Every home that is built, sold or rented in the UK, needs an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This vital piece of documentation details how much the new owner or occupier is likely to spend on gas and electricity, as well as what the property’s carbon emissions will be. An EPC also stipulates what improvements can be made to make the property more energy efficient.
Improving your property’s EPC rating before you put it on the market or let it out to a new tenant will make it more attractive to potential buyers and renters. In this blog post, we reveal the top ways to improve your property’s energy efficiency and subsequently boost your EPC rating.
Upgrade your windows and doors
Keeping heat within the home is one of the greatest challenges faced, particularly in older properties. Draught-proofing can seem like a constant battle. It’s not just preventing heat loss that’s your mission, you must ensure adequate ventilation is achieved too. A large proportion of heat is lost through a property’s windows and doors, which makes upgrading your current setup an excellent way to conserve energy.
Upgrading to energy efficient windows and doors has a number of plus-points. In addition to saving money on your energy bills, you can reduce your property’s carbon footprint, enjoy a more comfortable atmosphere thanks to fewer draughts and cold spots, and reduce the build-up of condensation inside the home. Energy efficient windows also insulate against noise meaning a more peaceful place to live.
Insulate your walls and loft
As heat rises a large percentage of energy is lost through the roof. Insulating your loft is cheap and easy, and can have a positive impact on those energy bills.
The same theory applies to your walls. Both properties with cavity walls and solid walls suffer heat loss if the walls are uninsulated. Again fitting wall insulation is simple and affordable. You could even qualify for help under the government’s Energy Company Obligations (ECO) scheme, which promises free loft insulation and cavity wall insulation for those who meet certain criteria.
Install an efficient boiler
Your property’s boiler sits at the heart of your heating system, which makes it a prime candidate for upgrade. Replacing your boiler may be expensive but it could be worth parting with your cash to unlock energy savings.
You could qualify for a free boiler (up to the value of £2,300) under the ECO scheme. You must however live in private accommodation (i.e. own your own home or rent privately) and be in receipt of certain benefits.
Switch your heating options
Central heating is notoriously costly, particularly if your property doesn’t have energy efficient windows, doors, walls, loft or boiler. Installing or making use of a secondary heating source like a wood burning stove or open fire could be the answer to improving your fuel efficiency and reducing your energy bills.
Energy Saving Lighting
One of the simplest and often most cost-effective ways for saving energy and improving a property’s energy rating involves simply changing the internal light bulbs to energy saving bulbs. It may only cost on average £50 - £60 to change the light fittings in a typical house and the saving in energy in one year alone is normally equal to the cost of the bulbs. Energy saving light bulbs are not only more energy efficient but also tend to last a lot longer than conventional bulbs too.
Improve efficiency throughout the home
It’s not just improving your property’s heating and insulation that could save you money and boost your rating. Upgrading appliances in your kitchen and bathroom to more efficient models will reduce the amount of energy you use.
If you’re not ready to upgrade, changing a few simple everyday habits could make a big difference to your energy bill. Turning off appliances after use, only washing full loads of dirty clothes or dishes, turning down the temperature of your washing cycle, or drying your washing on the line rather than on the radiator all count!