Top 10 tips for improving your domestic EPC rating

Here are some useful tips on what makes a difference to your EPC rating and what you can do to boost that rating:

  1. Top up your loft insulation – this is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to improve your EPC rating. Going from no insulation to 270mm can improve the rating by 10 or 15 points, whilst even a top up on existing insulation can get 2-5 points worth of improvement in many cases.
  2. Cavity wall insulation – If you have cavity walls, make sure they are insulated. Insulating a cavity can improve the rating by 5-10 points on average.
  3. Upgrade your heating – The heating system is one of the key factors in the EPC. If you have an old boiler, upgrading to a new condensing model will improve your rating by 5-20 points depending on the age of the current system.
  4. Insulate your hot water cylinder – Not everyone has a hot water cylinder, but if you do, it is worth adding insulation to the tank. This is cheap and easy to do, and will bump your rating by a few points as well.
  5. Glazing – If you have single glazed windows, upgrading to new double glazing will make several points difference on average – not as much as wall and loft insulation, but still a noticeable increase. If you already have double glazing, even if it is old, there is not going to be much improvement in the rating.
  6. Documentation – If you have already had insulation installed, or if you think there may be insulation from a previous occupier, but there is no access to the space, then you should try to get documentation to show this to the EPC assessor. Sometimes this can make as much difference as actually installing an improvement. The same goes for windows installations and other improvements.
  7. Seal open chimneys – Open fires and draughty chimneys actually make some difference to the EPC rating. If possible, block these up permanently, or install a closed heater in the opening to add a few further points of improvement.
  8. Solid wall insulation – If the property has solid walls, the EPC rating is going to be much lower than an equivalent cavity wall property. You can either insulate internally or externally with a solid wall, and either way it is expensive. The good news is that it can increase the rating of the property by 10-20 points or more, so if maximising your EPC rating is important to you, then this is the way to go.
  9. Renewables – Adding solar PV should boost your rating, dependent on the size of the system being installed. With larger 16 panel systems, you could add 10 points to the rating. Solar thermal, although usually a bit cheaper than a PV system, will only add a few points to the rating. Wind turbines can also improve the rating, but this is only going to make a difference for larger turbines in rural areas. Small urban turbines have little impact, both in the EPC and in your electricity supply!
  10. Lighting and draught proofing – Adding draught proofing and changing your lights over to energy efficient versions can add about a point each onto the final rating. Not much, but they don’t cost much to do!

If you have any plans in mind to improve your property, and you would like to get our advice on how this will impact the energy rating, then please contact us and ask for a recommendations report. This tailored service will be able to help inform you of the energy efficiency implications of any works, and ensure your works get the right end result for your EPC rating.

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