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7 Easy Ways to Improve Your EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) Rating

Since 2008 Landlord have had a legal requirement to provide Tenants with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), you will also have seen the rating now shown in property adverts. EPCs are produced by Accredited Domestic Energy Assessors (DEA) who will be governed by one of 6 Accreditation Bodies.

In this article, we cover what a DEA is looking for in any property assessment so that you can ensure that you attain the best possible EPC rating for your property.

The primary elements that the DEA will be looking for during an EPC survey are:

  • How and when the property was constructed
  • Your heating system and controls
  • How the water is heated
  • How well the property is insulated
  • The ventilation systems for the property
  • The lighting of the property

It’s the role of the DEA to collect data about these features which will then be fed into software to generate the EPC rating certificate. The procedure used to calculate the results is known as the Reduced Data Standard Assessment Procedure (RdSAP) which is a minimised version of the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP).

Here are 7 easy ways to improve your EPC rating in preparation for your EPC inspection:

Ensure access

It’s vital that your assessor can gain access to all parts of your property for inspection. You don’t want them making assumptions, as this could result in a downgraded EPC rating. For example, if your assessor cannot enter the loft area to confirm that you have insulation, he will need to assume that you don’t. It is also the same with the hot water cylinder insulation. If he cannot see it for himself, he is going to presume the worst case scenario .

Make your documentation available

If you have had any conversions or major changes made since 1996, then it’s important that the assessor can see the relevant building regulations sign off documents. If he cannot, then he will defer to using the construction date of the main building, which will produce a lower EPC rating for your certificate.

Insulation of your water tank

Most nearer hot water cylinders will have 25mm of foam insulation. However adding an additional jacket will add as many as 2-3 points to your EPC  rating. Cylinder Jackets are an inexpensive way to achieve this and you will do no harm in doubling up on jackets if you want to go that extra mile.

Remove portable heaters

If the assessor discovers any portable electric or propane heaters during the EPC inspection, then this will be considered as a secondary heating method. This will most likely mean a lowered rating for your EPC as secondary heating is a less efficient means of heating than the primary heat source. By removing these heaters, then the Assessor will only consider the primary heating method.

Swap out coal for wood

If you use a fireplace, the DEA will assume that whatever fuel they see is the one you use in your fire place. Coal as a fuel will produce a lower EPC rating than wood, so we recommend that you remove your coal shuttle and add a wood basket.

Block unused flues

Open flues in a property will produce a lower EPC rating. Flues allow heat to rise out of your property, so it’s advisable that you block off any flues that are not in operation. The Assessor will need to see that the blockage looks permanent, so avoid just stuffing your flue with old newspaper.

Lighting requirements

Wherever possible change your light bulbs to Low Energy fittings. Your target should 70-80 % LE bulbs throughout your house. Remember, Low Energy is different to Low Voltage so 12v Halogen bulbs are NOT low energy. Achieving that target 80% will add a valuable SAP Point to most houses.

Next steps

If you are looking at spending more money or taking greater steps there are other ways to help your EPC rating which include increasing your loft insulation, replacing your boiler with a band A boiler and filling your cavity walls.

Agent Green are the UKs leading provider of Energy Performance Certificates for Landlords.