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Raising the standards for EPCs

16/01/23Raising the standards for EPCs

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) were introduced in 2008 to improve the baseline standard of energy efficiency in UK homes. They indicate a building’s energy efficiency from A to G, with A being the most efficient and G being the worst. The rating is dependent on the amount of energy a building uses per metre squared and the level of carbon dioxide it emits every year.

Do you need an Energy Performance Certificate?

According to government guidelines, you don’t need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) if the building you are renting out is:

Any property being rented out needs an EPC rating of E or above

With the government’s target of achieving net zero by 2050, all homes will need to improve their EPC rating by then.

To achieve a C rating, a home will either have been built to be energy efficient or it will have been significantly upgraded. Homes with floor, roof, walls and loft insulation, an efficient heating system, as well as double-glazing and low-energy lighting tend to achieve a C rating.

Older buildings are more likely to have lower EPC ratings than new builds as they were not built with any sort of energy efficiency in mind. Older properties are likely to have solid brick walls so insulation in the walls is quite poor while they are also unlikely to have insulation in the roof or floors either. Any original windows in these period properties will also let in the draughts while letting out any heat.

How to improve your EPC rating

If you want to make your building more energy efficient, generally speaking, insulating any cavity walls and the loft, replacing an old boiler, installing double glazing and making sure you are using low energy lighting will all have a positive impact.

Dramatically improving the energy rating of an old building can be challenging, with many of them struggling to achieve even an E rating, let alone C. However, the way to approach it is often to think of small incremental changes that, when taken in combination, can have enough of an impact to push the energy rating up. A helpful energy assessor will be able to make recommendations of actions to be taken which can make all the difference. These could include:

If you are considering improving your energy efficiency and would like advice, please speak to the team at Forge today.

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