Understanding Energy Performance
When it comes to purchasing a property, understanding its Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) can be a game-changer.
This certificate not only provides insights into the energy efficiency of the property but also projects the likely running costs for heating, lighting, and hot water.
Over the long term, such as a decade, the difference in running costs between a B-rated and an E-rated property could amount to tens of thousands of pounds.
Why EPC Ratings Matter
If you’re contemplating whether to invest in a new build or an older property, comparing their EPC ratings can offer invaluable insights into potential running costs. While older properties can be retrofitted for better energy efficiency, the scope of improvement is often limited by the original construction methods.
The Evolution of Energy-Efficient Designs
New homes are increasingly achieving higher EPC ratings, thanks to advancements in insulation, high-quality materials like low-energy windows, and superior construction techniques. These factors collectively enhance the building envelope, making it more airtight and reducing heat and energy loss, thereby boosting overall efficiency.
Decoding the A-G Scale
The EPC employs an A-G scale, a format familiar to many consumers from its use on household appliances. This scale allows you to make informed decisions by offering a standardised measure of a home’s energy efficiency. It’s important to note that the scale is based on standard occupancy to enable direct comparisons between different types of homes.
Beyond the Basics: Additional EPC Insights
The EPC also outlines the potential energy rating of the home, detailing possible improvements along with their associated costs and benefits. Older homes often have more room for improvement but may require a significant investment to realise these gains.
The Environmental Impact
With over a quarter of the UK’s CO2 emissions stemming from residential energy use, the EPC also provides an estimate of the property’s carbon footprint compared to the national average. This information can be crucial for those committed to reducing their environmental impact.
Key Features for Energy Efficiency
When evaluating a property, consider the following energy-efficient features that we incorporate into our homes:
- Deep insulation in lofts
- Brick and thermal block walls with wide, insulation-filled cavities
- Highly insulated floors with energy-efficient underfloor heating on the ground floor
- Thermostatically controlled radiators on other floors
The government has been driving improvements in energy efficiency through building regulations for the past two decades.
A Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) calculation forms the basis of an EPC, comparing the proposed dwelling to a theoretical house that meets current Building Regulations.
Any additional energy-saving measures contribute to a higher energy band, making the home more efficient and cost-effective to run.
By understanding the intricacies of an EPC, you can make a more informed decision that aligns with both your financial and environmental goals.