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Why should you improve your home’s EPC rating?

Increasing your home’s EPC rating not only helps the environment, it can also lower your energy bills and save you money.

What is an EPC rating?

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) measures how energy efficient your property is, rating it from A (extremely efficient) to G (least efficient). 

An EPC shows:

  • the amount of energy your home uses (typical spend on heating, lighting and hot water)
  • the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) your home produces
  • any energy performance related features you have, such as double glazing or insulation
  • recommended measures you could take to improve the EPC rating
  • how much money you could save per year following these measures

What is the recommended EPC rating for a property?

The Climate Change Committee recommends all UK homes reach an EPC of at least band C by 2028 – to help the government meet its net zero carbon target by 2050.1 But only 29% of UK homes currently meet this standard.2 The average energy efficiency rating for a home in England and Wales is band D.

If you’re a landlord, you have to legally meet the minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) to rent your property. Currently, all domestic rental properties in England and Wales must have an EPC rating of E or above. However, this is due to increase to C or above from 2025. These new EPC regulations will be phased in, starting with new tenancies from 2025 and then all tenancies from 2028.3

Benefits of improving your home’s EPC rating

1. You can save money on your energy bills

The higher your EPC rating, the lower your energy bills are likely to be. Less energy is wasted and what you do use goes further. For example, energy-efficient properties retain heat better, so it’ll cost you less to keep your home warm and comfortable.

2. It reduces your carbon footprint

According to the Climate Change Committee (CCC), 40% of UK emissions come from households.4 Using less energy in the home reduces the building’s impact on the environment.

CO2 emissions and energy bills for existing houses in England and in Wales were more than twice as high as those for new houses, which are typically more energy efficient.5

3. It can make your home more attractive to buyers

A higher EPC rating and lower energy bills can make a property more attractive to prospective buyers, if you ever were to sell the property. 

A study by MoneySuperMarket suggests that improving the EPC rating could even increase the value of your home by up to 14%.

Keep in mind – potential buyers may find it difficult to get a mortgage on a property with a low EPC rating, which could make it harder to sell.

4. It can help landlords meet EPC regulations

If you’re a landlord, it’s your responsibility to provide a safe and comfortable home for your tenants. Improving your property’s EPC rating helps you meet rising EPC standards, lower your tenant’s energy bills and support the government’s target of reducing fuel poverty in England by 2030. 

You’re also more likely to attract and maintain tenants as you improve the property.

How do you get an EPC?

An EPC is typically needed whenever a property is built, sold or rented. 

EPCs are valid for 10 years, so your home may already have one. You can find out if your property has a valid EPC on the government register. 

If your property doesn’t have an EPC or it has expired, you need to have it assessed to get a new energy certificate. If you’re renting, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to provide one.

Keep in mind – not all homes need an EPC, including certain listed buildings. If you’re in the process of buying a property, the seller must show you the EPC.

How much does an EPC cost?

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) can range from £35 to £120, depending on a number of factors, such as the size of your home. As there isn’t a fixed price, it’s worth comparing quotes from a few registered energy assessors in your area to find the best price. 

Visit GOV.UK for more information.

How to improve your EPC rating

Here are a few things you can do to raise your EPC rating:

  • use LED lights instead of traditional lightbulbs
  • draft-proof unwanted gaps around windows and doors
  • insulate the loft, cavity walls, hot water tank and pipes
  • replace old or faulty appliances with new, energy efficient ones
  • make sure you have the paperwork to show the energy assessor you have completed the work, in case they can’t see it for themselves

If you can afford to, you may consider generating your own power through heat pumps or solar panels as a form of renewable energy.