Eight ways to improve your EPC rating
Landlords find ways to improve your EPC rating and especially relevant keep your tenants happy with lower utility bills. Some of the key areas of the Energy Bill include facilitating the roll out of smart meters, making information on energy bills clearer and introducing measures to encourage low carbon emissions.
The flagship policy in the Bill is the ‘Green Deal’, a scheme whereby householders, private landlords and businesses would be given finance upfront to make energy efficiency improvements, which would then be paid for by energy bill savings.
The government proposes that from 2016 landlords will not be able to refuse reasonable requests from tenants or local authorities acting on behalf of tenants, to improve their property. Secondly, from 2018 it will be unlawful to let a house or commercial property which has less than an “E” energy efficiency rating.
Landlords who have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), should read the Recommendations section. This is what your tenant will be able to impose from 2016. EPCs are valid for 10 years. If you have an EPC and have since carried out the improvements, you can have another one completed sooner than ten years so that it is up to date.
Eight ways to improve your EPC rating
1. Bulbs – Fit energy saving light bulbs throughout the property before the EPC assessment appointment. These are cheaper than conventional bulbs. Energy saving light bulbs last up to 12 times longer than ordinary light bulbs. The government, energy companies and retailers are working together to phase out inefficient bulbs.
2. Double glazed windows – Replace single glazed windows with low- E double glazing. This will help reduce the energy bill as well as improve comfort in the home by reducing draughts and cold spots near windows.
3. Wall insulation – Insulating the cavity wall will help save money and heat the property more efficiently. Using less energy in turn reduces carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) which is one of the biggest causes of climate change. Typically, the property will be suitable for wall insulation if its external walls are unfilled cavity walls, the masonry or brickwork of your property is in good condition and the cavity is at least 50mm wide. Contact an insulation company and enquire about a free assessment.
4. Loft insulation – The colder it is outside the faster heat from inside the property will escape into the surrounding air. Having the loft insulated makes it much more difficult for heat to pass through the roof by providing a layer of material which has lots of air pockets in it which traps the heat.
5. Central heating boiler – A combi boiler which heats the hot water while providing heat is the most cost effective.
6. Central heating controls – This includes a wall mounted thermostat and thermostatic radiator valves.
7. Hot water cylinder – If you have one, fitting a tank jacket or 2 will help to keep the heat in. Increasing the thickness of existing insulation by adding an 80 mm cylinder jacket around the hot water cylinder will help maintain the water at the required temperature which will reduce the amount of energy used to heat the water while also reducing the electric bill.
8. Fan assisted storage heaters – If you have no heating in a flat, for instance, you can provide fan assisted storage heaters along with a dual immersion cylinder which will much improve the energy efficiency of the property. Modern storage heaters are much less expensive to run than on – peak heating system. A dual immersion cylinder will provide cheap hot water.
We hope you follow the above eight ways to improve your EPC rating.
Contact West Midland Lettings to arrange a Domestic or Commercial EPC via a Qualified Energy Assessor 0121 525 5930.
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