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Home Energy Efficiency

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EPC or Energy at home

What is an Energy Performance Certificate and why is it important?

You may have come across the term Energy Performance Certificate or an EPC when you have bought or rented a property. It may come as surprise that this certificate is important when deciding on where to live. One of the biggest financial impacts of running a home are energy costs, which seemingly go up all the time. But how can you tell how much energy your new home will consume? Well, that's where an Energy Performance Certificate come in, this certificate will provide an estimate on how much it will cost to power your new home. It is very easy to tell if your new property will be costly to heat by referring to the EPC rating, a rating of an 'A' will indicate a property is very energy efficient and progressing down the scale will indicate a less energy efficient property.

A less energy efficient property will cost you more to heat. For example, two properties, semi-detached, with floor space of 135-144 m2, the estimated energy costs for heat, light and hot water:

  • An 'A' rated home costs a total of £1,701 over three years - equal to just under £45 a month.

  • A 'G' rated house costs a total of £11,010 over three years - equal to just over £300 a month.

    Reducing your monthly energy is not just good for your pocket but will reduce your carbon emission foot print. Around 22% of the UK's carbon emissions come from our homes, so it can make a really difference to choose a property with a low EPC rating.

    The certificate is also useful to a homeowner so that they can see where they can make savings and improvements on their energy use to improve their EPC rating. Example EPC. If the certificate suggests the boiler is inefficient it's likely to mean the boiler is old and may be coming to the end of its life and may need replacing in the near future.

Depending on your circumstances funding may be available to improve the Energy Performance of a property.

Why has this been introduced?


These regulations have been introduced to address the following issues:

Public health

Poor energy efficiency in a person's home can lead to lower indoor temperatures in the winter months. Exposure to cold has been associated with increased winter deaths, risk of respiratory and circulatory conditions, cardiovascular problems, and arthritic and rheumatic illnesses; and can exacerbate existing health conditions, including common flu and cold, and allergies. An inadequate indoor temperature can also reduce injury from accidents as higher temperatures improve general safety, hand strength and dexterity. Cold living conditions can also affect mental health as cold homes can cause stress and anxiety.

Fuel Poverty

There are 2.4 million households in fuel poverty across the country, over 10 per cent of properties. The highest number is now in the owner-occupied sector with 51 per cent, with only 47 per cent of households in fuel poverty are in receipt of means tested benefits. private rented sector also tend to be deeper in fuel poverty, with an average fuel poverty gap of £334, compared to £175 for those in local authority housing.

It is also known that 52% of households living in F and G properties are classified as fuel poor, with an average fuel poverty gap of nearly £1000. As there is a disproportionate share of the UK's least energy-efficient properties and fuel-poor households in the PRS by prioritising the enforcement of the PRS regulations to those in the deepest levels of fuel poverty we could really make a difference in the sector. 

.(Reference BEIS committee on fuel poverty annual report June 2020)

Climate Emergency

The Private Rented Sector has doubled in size since 2002 in the UK and now accounts for around 20% of the UK's total housing stock. F and G rated properties waste energy. They impose unnecessary cost on tenants and they contribute to avoidable greenhouse gas emissions. Increasing the energy efficiency of our PRS can significantly contribute to Government and Local targets for the reduction of carbon emissions.

Future targets

The 2015 Fuel Strategy makes provision for as many private rented homes as possible to be upgraded to EPC Band D by 2025 and C by 2030, although these targets have not yet been embodied into legislation yet the Clean Growth Strategy also announced that the Government will look at a long term trajectory for energy performance standards across the PRS, with the aim of as many private rented homes as possible being upgraded to EPC band C by 2030, where practical, cost-effective and affordable.

Grants

What energy efficiency schemes are currently available?

Energy Company Obligation / ECO (Help to Heat)

Qualifying householders can access funding for energy efficiency improvements to their homes through the central government's ECO scheme.

ECO (Help to Heat) is a requirement placed upon energy companies to help improve domestic energy performance of the homes of the vulnerable. Ofgem administers the scheme on behalf of the Department for Energy, Business & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The following improvements are available under the scheme, but only if your property is suitable for them. If you already have an improvement and it's in good order, then you won't be able to receive it again.

  • Loft insulation
  • Cavity wall insulation
  • Gas boiler replacements
  • Oil boiler replacements
  • External wall insulation
  • Internal wall insulation
  • Room in roof insulation
  • Underfloor insulation
  • Electric storage heaters.

To qualify you will need to be in receipt of benefits and live in a property with a low energy efficiency rating. There might be some income thresholds you need to meet. For more information visit the Ofgem website.

Owner Occupied properties

ECO Funding -

Heating

Faulty Boiler - Funding is available through ECO to replace a fault broken boiler , the applicant needs to own the property were the boiler is to be replaced. ECO funding will only part fund the installation and a customer contribution would be required.

First Time Central Heating: If the property does not have gas central heating (i.e. boiler, radiators and associated pipework), then ECO funding can be used to supply and fit a new Gas central heating system.

Typical scenario include:

  • A property heated by Gas fires or Gas wall heaters

  • A property heated be electric storage Heaters (ESH)

  • A property heated by electric plug-in heaters or an electric fire.

Property would require a live gas connection present to complete the installation. Funding levels are dependent on property size and existing pre main heat source.

Private Rented Properties

ECO Funding -

Heating

First Time Central Heating: If the property does not have gas central heating (i.e. boiler, radiators and associated pipework), then ECO funding can be used to supply and fit a new Gas central heating system.

Typical scenario include:

  • A property heated by Gas fires or Gas wall heaters

  • A property heated be electric storage Heaters (ESH)

  • A property heated by electric plug-in heaters or an electric fire.

Property would require a live gas connection present to complete the installation. Funding levels are dependent on property size and existing pre main heat source.

Insulation

Cavity wall insulation - is usually fully funded under ECO, however this is subject to survey as the funding is dependent on the property type i.e detached, terraced etc.

Loft Insulation - ECO will fund loft insulation top-ups where there is less than 100mm insulation already in the loft and no downlight covers required, funding levels are dependent on the size and property type and some properties may require a contribution towards the work, this will be confirmed at the technical survey.

View more information on Affordable warmth and energy switching

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