An EPC certificate, or energy performance certificate, is a document that reflects the energy efficiency of a property. Whether its a residence or commercial space, the EPC lets a buyer or leaser know about how much it will cost to heat and light the property. The EPC can also offer tips for how the property might gain improved efficiency. The grading system runs from A to G, with an A being the most efficient. If you have a newer building, you are likely to have at least a grade of C for efficiency. However, many older buildings will have a D or E grade which translates to more expensive energy costs and a greater impact on the environment. If your EPC indicates that your property is not very energy efficient, here are some ways in which you can improve the space.
Installing double-glazed windows in your property will improve its energy efficiency right away. These windows are less apt to allow hot air to escape in the winter, and air conditioned air to escape in the summer. You will waste less treated air, and you can also stop outdoor air from traveling into the property. If you cant install all new windows, you can at least seal the ones that you have. By adding rubber or caulk around the edges of your windows, you can stop drafts that may be happening around the perimeter of the window. Likewise, you should inspect all of the doors in your home that lead to the outside and add rubber sealants around the edges when you notice a large draft happening.
Wall and floor insulation is another way to improve your EPC rating. Installed inside your walls, in the loft of your home, and under the floors insulation is often made of wool or other fibers that will contain the heat inside your home. This can reduce your heating costs by a significant degree, and it also improves your energy efficiency. While adding wall or floor insulation requires some reconstruction in many cases, the home improvements can pay off in the long run.
Installing Water Cylinder and Pipe Protection
Similar to wall insulation, a water cylinder jacket and pipe insulation will also help contain heat, but this time its the heat from your homes hot water supply. A water cylinder jacket can be purchased from most do it yourself shops and will keep the water that is stored in the cylinder hotter for a longer period of time. Your cylinder wont have to switch as frequently to heat the water, and you can use less electricity. Likewise, when you add insulation to your exposed pipes they cant lose heat energy as the hot water travels through. Pipe insulation is also relatively inexpensive, and will help you gain a higher EPC grade.
Update Your Heating
Some boilers and heating systems waste energy and emit a lot of carbon emissions, which is harmful to the environment. Other systems, such as geothermal heat pumps also called ground source heat pumps use much less energy. While switching out your heating system can be a costly endeavor, it might also be as easy as switching to a different boiler. You can choose a method of upgrading your system that is within your budget and in many cases the investment will pay for itself in just a few years. Heating costs are among the largest offenders when it comes to wasted energy, so upgrading your heating system is one of the best things you can do for your home.
An ECP certificate is required of most properties in the UK. Unless your space is occupied for less than four months out of the year, very tiny, or set for imminent demolition you should get a certificate to avoid being in violation. Your EPC grade may either encourage a buyer to make an offer on the property or a renter to sign a lease, or it may send potential buyers and leasers running. Fortunately, improving your grade is not impossible and your EPC will give you specific pointers about what can be done to your property to improve its energy efficiency score in the very near future.
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