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Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are needed whenever a property is:
- built
- sold
- rented
 
An EPC contains:
- information about a property’s energy use and typical energy costs
- recommendations about how to reduce energy use and save money
 
An EPC gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years.  The average energy efficient rating for a dwelling in England and Wales is Band D.
 
An EPC lists a property’s energy efficiency rating and also its potential category if suggested energy saving recommendations are put in place.   It estimates the costs involved to implement them and the projected financial savings over a 3 year period. Some of the recommendations may be available under The Green Deal which enables owners and occupiers to make improvements to their property which is repaid over time via a credit agreement.  For more information visit www.direct.gov.uk/savingenergy.
 
A Department of Energy and Climate Change report on the effect of EPC ratings on house prices, analysed repeat sales transactions involving 325,950 dwellings that took place in the period from 1995 to 2011 and was published in 2013. The analysis found that there was a positive association between price per square metre and energy performance rating. This research reinforced work published by RICS on the economics of EU Energy Labels in the Housing Market. This research found that properties with a high level of energy efficiency (A, B or C rating) received a higher transaction price for the property.
 
House prices are mainly driven by location, accommodation, condition and style of property. However, alongside these a would be purchaser will take into consideration how the house is heated, how old the boiler is, whether there is double glazing and if the property is fully insulated which enforces the bond between house price and energy efficiency.
 
Switch to energy saving light bulbs.  These can significantly reduce household lighting bills. Probably the cheapest and easiest change you can make is to replace old style light bulbs with energy saving equivalents in as many rooms as possible. This is as simple as changing a light bulb but you do need to take care if you have dimmer switches installed. There are energy saving bulbs that can dim with an ordinary light switch.   Although energy saving bulbs do cost more than old style filament bulbs they last longer as well as using less electricity.
 
Improving the insulation used in the walls and roof of your house is more expensive but there are government backed incentive schemes to help reduce the cost..
 
A new boiler can reduce your energy bills as the latest models are more efficient. There are cheaper ways to improve heating a house including adjustable thermostats for radiators to make sure you’re not heating empty rooms unnecessarily.
 
The EPC rating will also take any secondary heating into account and this may include old fireplaces. As they are not as efficient as gas fired boilers they can bring the score down.
 

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