Energy efficiency

How to improve your EPC to help sell your home

Saving energy in the home has become a major consideration when maintaining or renovating a property. It especially has an impact when it comes to selling your house.

Sellers today have to provide an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) to potential buyers. This is a standardised document that ranks a property in its energy efficiency, from A (most energy efficient) to G (least energy efficient). In Scotland, the EPC forms part of the Home Report – all houses for sale there must be marketed with this.  

The EPC includes information like how much energy the property uses, how much it costs and recommends ways to be more energy efficient – thereby saving energy and money through being cheaper to maintain.

This can influence a buyer’s decision to buy a property – a house that’s cheaper to light and heat is a more attractive prospect than one with lofty energy bills.

Gwyn Roberts, New Homes and Communities Team Leader at BRE, a research-based consultancy for the built environment and associated industries, says: “It can be incredibly difficult for house-buyers to make informed decisions about the environmental performance of their homes. Energy Efficiency and the EPC certificate has become increasingly important to home buyers giving them an indication of how expensive the heating and hot water is going to be in the home.”

So, what does an EPC check for in the home?

The main areas include:

  • Walls, floor and roof – checking for insulation
  • Windows and doors – checking for gaps, drafts and other areas where heat can escape
  • Hot water, main heating and controls – checking the quality of heating like the boiler type, radiators and thermostat
  • Lighting – checking the types of bulbs used on all fixed outlets

There are a lot of areas in the home the EPC covers, but there are things you can do yourself to save energy, which, in turn, can help improve it.

Modernising windows to keep heat in

Windows are one of the main causes of heat loss, resulting in high energy costs.

Mike Nagle, Managing Director, of windows and doors firm McMahon and Nagle, says: “A large amount of heat could be escaping your home through your windows due to having old ones, which could mean your windows have gaps. This heat escaping your windows can lead to an increase in heating bills.

Mike says replacing old windows with energy efficient ones that have energy efficient glazing (like double or triple) can save up to 15% on your energy bills. 

“Having good energy efficient windows is one of the most important ways of keeping heat in your home.”

Insulating, sealing gaps and stopping drafts

A lot of heat can be lost as it rises up through your roof. If you have an accessible loft or attic, a good way to help prevent heat escaping is to insulate the roof space.

Insulating between the joists in your loft with mineral wood, and using layers of insulation boards and wood boarding, is an effective way to retain heat.

Making sure your windows and doors are correctly sealed to prevent any drafts can also help trap warmth in your home and help better your EPC.

Mike says applying caulk around a window can seal any gaps and stop draughts. It’s a good idea to use draft excluders under your doors too as an extra measure. Applying weather stripping around a door also helps to ensure a tighter seal when it’s closed.

Better still, energy efficient doors include features like double-glazing, draught proof seals and low maintenance PVC frames, which prevent heat escaping your home.

“A huge amount of energy can be lost through doors, but with energy efficient doors you will be sure that money is not being wasted on escaping heat,” Mike says.

Other ways to boost your EPC:

  • Use energy-saving bulbs on all your lights
  • Upgrade your heating system to include an energy efficient boiler to generate heat more economically
  • Invest in renewable energy systems, like a micro wind turbine or solar panels for your roof, so you can generate your own energy – reducing how much your property relies on the national grid.

All these ideas can help reduce your property’s energy bills. While such changes require some work, they should improve your EPC – helping to make your house more attractive to potential buyers.

This blog post was written by Martin Grainger, Valuations Manager for Webuyanyhouse.co.uk, a house buying company committed to treating people selling their property in an open, honest and transparent way.

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