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What is the EPC Score? How Can You Improve It?

An EPC score, short for Energy Performance Certificate score, is crucial for homeowners and potential buyers, reflecting a property's energy efficiency. This score ranges from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is a key factor in determining a property's environmental impact and running costs.



Improving your EPC score enhances your home's energy performance and increases its market value. 

In this article, we will explore practical ways to boost your EPC score, ensuring your home is both eco-friendly and cost-effective.


What Is An EPC Rating?

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) evaluates a building's energy efficiency, rating it on a scale from A (highly efficient) to G (less efficient) for properties that are on the market for sale or rent. This assessment also recommends energy-saving improvements and cost-effective methods to achieve a higher rating.


Legally required for landlords, it's a critical tool for prospective buyers or tenants. A property with a lower rating indicates that the energy costs associated with it may be substantial.


How Is An EPC Score Calculated?

An EPC rating is calculated by evaluating the energy consumed per square meter, such as heating and lighting, and the power lost, for example, through inadequate insulation. An assessor first calculates the property's Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) score to determine this rating. This SAP score directly influences the EPC rating, with a higher SAP score indicating a more favourable EPC rating.


How To Improve Energy Performance Certificate Score/Rating?

To improve your energy performance certificate score, you must make changes to boost your property's energy efficiency. Here's how you can do it. 


1: Upgrading to LED Light Bulbs

Switching to LED light bulbs is one of the simplest yet effective ways to boost your property's EPC rating. LED bulbs are vastly more energy-efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs, significantly reducing electricity consumption for lighting. They also have a longer lifespan, meaning less frequent replacements and further energy savings over time.


2: Wall and Roof Insulation

Improving insulation in walls and roofs is a critical step in enhancing a property's energy efficiency. Proper insulation helps maintain a consistent indoor temperature, reducing the need for excessive heating or cooling. This lowers energy bills and minimizes energy waste, contributing to a better EPC rating.


3: Double or Triple-Glazed Windows

Investing in double or triple-glazed windows can dramatically improve a property's heat retention. These windows create an insulating barrier, reducing heat loss and preventing drafts. This upgrade enhances comfort and decreases the energy required for heating, thus improving the property's EPC score.


4: Boiler Upgrade

Replacing an old boiler with a more efficient model can significantly impact a property's energy consumption. Modern boilers are more efficient in converting fuel into heat, ensuring less energy is wasted. This upgrade effectively reduces heating costs and boosts the EPC rating.


5: Installing Underfloor Heating

Underfloor heating is an efficient method of warming a property. It provides even heat distribution and operates at lower temperatures than traditional radiators, reducing energy usage. This system can contribute to a higher EPC score, especially when combined with other energy-saving measures.


6: Smart Meter Installation

Installing a smart meter empowers tenants and homeowners to monitor and manage their energy consumption more effectively. These devices provide real-time information about energy usage, encouraging more conscious and efficient energy use, which can positively influence the property's EPC rating.


7: Renewable Energy Investments

Incorporating renewable energy sources, such as solar panels or wind turbines, significantly reduces dependence on non-renewable energy. This lowers energy bills and lessens the property's carbon footprint. Investing in renewable energy can markedly improve the EPC rating due to the energy's sustainability.


8: Seeking Energy Supplier Assistance

Contacting your energy supplier for advice and support can provide insights into additional energy-saving measures. Suppliers often have programs or incentives for energy-efficient upgrades, which can help improve the EPC score while reducing costs.


Before implementing these upgrades, consider the benefits of a whole-house retrofit. This comprehensive approach involves simultaneously upgrading insulation, windows, and heating systems. It can often be more cost-effective and impactful in improving the EPC score than a series of individual, smaller upgrades.


Why Should You Improve Your Property's EPC Score?

There are multiple reasons to enhance the EPC rating of your rental property. Primarily, renting out your property is illegal if it fails to achieve the minimum EPC rating of E.


Improving the EPC rating ensures legal compliance and appeals to environmentally aware tenants, possibly raising your property's market value. Additionally, by upgrading your EPC rating, you'll be ahead of the curve about the government's anticipated requirement of a minimum EPC rating of C for new rental agreements in 2025 and for all rental contracts by 2028.


Landlords who fail to comply with these regulations risk incurring a civil penalty of up to £5,000, with the exact amount depending on the duration of the non-compliance. If tenants suspect their landlord is violating the law, they can bring their case to the First-Tier Tribunal General Regulatory Chamber.


Conclusion

In conclusion, enhancing the EPC rating of your rental property is not just a legal necessity; it's a strategic investment. By upgrading to energy-efficient solutions, landlords avoid potential fines and increase their property's appeal and value. 


With the upcoming regulatory changes, proactive measures will ensure compliance and readiness for 2025 and 2028 requirements. A higher EPC rating ultimately signifies a commitment to sustainability, efficiency, and tenant satisfaction.


Read more: ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATES (EPCs)

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