Invest in a hot water cylinder jacket
They may not be a thing of beauty, but a hot water cylinder jackets might be the single most cost-effective investment you can make for saving energy, cutting bills, and achieving a higher EPC. You can pick one up online for as little as £20, and it can earn you up to 5 points.
Track down your paperwork
Forget cheap, this one could well be free.
The way that EPC assessors and the EPC processing software operate, if there’s no paperwork to prove that certain work has been carried out then assumptions are made which will almost always affect your rating negatively.
For example, if you’ve had loft insulation installed but are unable to access the attic to prove it to the assessor, the they would be forced to assume that you don’t have it. Your EPC could end up being as much as 20 points lower than if the loft insulation had been taken into account.
That’s why it’s important to keep all paperwork for any building work done to your property. If an assessor is able to see a certification confirming the work that has been carried out, your rating should be significantly higher than if they are forced to assume the worst.
Insulation is fundamental to energy efficiency, and the cheapest insulation by far is in the loft. It can be installed cheaply, but an uninsulated property loses up to 25% of its heat through the roof; if you’re not insulating up there then you’re throwing money away.
The recommended level of insulation for your loft is 270mm, be it a warm roof or cold roof setup. Installing this on an uninsulated property could improve your rating by as much as 20 points, but even if you’re just topping up your current insulation, you could still bag a decent few points.
Probably the most common recommendation to find on an EPC is to replace your current bulbs with low-energy models.
‘No problem!’ I heard you cry, ‘As soon as these ones blow I’ll replace them with energy efficient ones!’. My response to that is that you’re wasting money while you wait for the old bulb to run down. While it’s true that an LED bulb is more expensive to buy, they will use 90% less energy and last 12-15 times as long. We’ve laid it out below:
|Type of lightbulb||5 Watt LED Spotlight||50 Watt Halogen|
|Cost per bulb||£5.00||£1.50|
|Cost of electricity (@ £0.15 / kWh)||£18.00||£180.00|
|Light bulb projected Lifespan (Hrs)||24,000||2,000|
|Bulbs needed to last 24,000 hours||1||12|
|Total cost of buying and running the bulb||£23.00||£198.00|
Switching your lights over is not only an easy way to gain a couple of valuable points on your EPC, it will also save you money. Forget cheap ways to increase your EPC rating, this way is a money maker in itself!
Upgrade your boiler
After insulation, the biggest factor contributing to your EPC score is your heating system. An ancient old boiler could be dragging you down dramatically.
Look for an A-rated boiler and you might be able to improve your rating by up to 20 points.
If you’ve had an EPC done before, you’ll know that there is a section in which a series of recommendations are made. These are generated automatically by the EPC software and personalised to your property, along with guide prices and potential improvement scores.