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Why should you improve your property's EPC rating?
Improving your property’s EPC rating is a great way to start reducing your energy bills making your home more efficient and it helps toward combating climate change. Basically, if we use less energy at home the less emissions we put into the atmosphere.
Energy-saving actions, which could improve your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating
Here are some of the top EPC questions asked in the UK.
LED (Light emitting diodes), bulbs are more energy efficient than traditional bulbs. Using them in your home could save you around £65 a year on electricity, according to Energy Saving Trust (June 2023). LEDs can be used in exactly the same way with regular or dimmer style switches. To reduce waste further you can simply replace your existing traditional bulbs at the end of their life, rather than replacing all your bulbs at once.
Heat escaping through cracks, gaps and holes in your windows, doors or even a chimney could be cooling your home while you’re also spending money to heat it up. Simple DIY measures, like applying sealant round old window frames or doors could help reduce draughts. Or you could get the help of a professional and benefit from their draught-proofing know-how. Remember, some ventilation is necessary, to avoid problems like damp, so don’t block any air vents.
Smart thermostats and radiator controls make use of the latest technology to help you manage your energy use. They could even save you money. Connecting to your home Wi-Fi, these thermostats can be used as normal thermostats that you control manually. Some can even learn your daily habits, turning the heating off when you are out and heating your home ready for when you get in. Some can even adjust the heating based on the weather.
Taking it further, fitting thermostat controls on your radiators and linking them to your smart thermostat can allow you to control or turn off radiators in different rooms that are not needed. Another simple tip is to bleed your radiators several times a year. All you need is a radiator key (you can pick one up for around £5), a tub to catch the water and a towel – that’s it.
Did you know that around a quarter of all heat lost from a property escapes through the roof? Most properties will have some loft insulation, but it can often be made much more effective. Loft insulation is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to improve your EPC rating and save energy.
Improving loft insulation from 120mm to at least 270mm of insulation can make a big difference and it could cut your energy use, according to Energy Saving Trust (June 2023). If your loft is easy to access, and has no damp or condensation problems you may be able to insulate it yourself. If you’re in any doubt, check with a professional to avoid fitting it incorrectly.
Around one third of all the heat lost from a typical property escapes through the walls, according to Energy Saving Trust (June 2023).
Most UK properties have cavity walls, meaning there is a gap between the inner and outer wall. This gap is usually filled with, or can be filled with, insulation to help prevent heat loss. If your property has cavity walls, check that they are insulated. By insulating the cavity you will reduce heat loss. In general, houses built from the 1930s will have a cavity wall but a professional will confirm if this is the case for your property.
If your property is a house or ground floor flat you could look into floor insulation as another way to save energy, reduce heat loss and potentially improve your EPC rating.
Under floor insulation could save you around £110 - £180 a year in an average property, according to Energy Saving Trust (June 2023). In most cases, a professional fitter will be needed to do the work. A smaller quick fix you can attempt is to seal the gaps between your floor and skirting boards to reduce draughts. You can do this with a standard tube of sealant that you should be able to pick up from most DIY stores.
What is an EPC certificate
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rates how energy efficient a property is and shows how it could be made more efficient.
More energy saving guides
From insulation to solar panels, check out our guides to making home improvements that could save you money over time.