How to improve your EPC Rating?
When a Domestic Energy Assessor is carrying out an Energy Performance Certificate review, the software used has to make common assumptions about energy use and there is nothing that we can do to change this.
However, the assessor might need to make some assumptions themselves and when this occurs they’re obliged to usually assume the worst. For example when a light fitting is discovered to be empty they will usually need to assume that when the bulb is replaced it’ll be with an incandescent bulb instead of a low energy bulb which is much more efficient. This is where we can make a difference to the overall rating.
There are many inexpensive measures you could take to improve your Energy Performance Certificate rating, such as replacing your inefficient boiler for a modern Band A condensing boiler or increasing your loft insulation and filling your cavity walls. There are ways to easily and cost effectively improve your EPC rating before the Domestic Energy Assessor visits your property.
Here are just a few simple measures that will show a distinct improvement in your energy rating:
- Give FULL Access - The first and most important thing to do is to make sure that the assessor can get access to all the parts of the property that they are inspecting, as any assumptions they’re forced to make are likely to result in a worse EPC rating. For example if it is not feasible for the assessor to access the loft region, either simply because the hatch is locked then the assessor will need to assume no insulation is present. The same applies for the hot water cylinder if the Energy Assessor can’t open the cupboard to see the cylinder then it’ll be assumed it has no insulation.
- Remove Oil, Gas or Electric Heaters - If whilst carrying out the EPC inspection the assessor finds any portable electric, oil or propane gas heaters within the property, they will be entered as a secondary heating technique. In most instances this may result in your property getting a lower energy rating as they’re likely to indicate a less efficient method of heating than your properties primary heat source. If you eliminate these heaters then only the primary heart source will be taken into consideration.
- Block Unused Flues - Any open flue will result in a lower EPC rating as they will be letting the heat rise out of your property. It is therefore advisable to block off any unused flues.
- Low Energy Light Bulbs - If you have any light fittings with missing bulbs then fit them with low energy light bulbs. For example changing all the bulbs in a four bedroom house from incandescent would make about a 2% difference to the properties EPC rating. Whilst this is only a small improvement it is feasible that it could make the difference to your rating if you are on the borderline between, for example, an E or a D rating.