This is question that we get asked regularly and has never been so relevant before, both with an ever-increasing number of people being motivated by the need and significance of making their properties more energy efficient, but also the cost of fuel, which for so many people was crippling last winter. There is another winter looming, as we start to learn more about global warming. It is not all about heat, it is the extremes that are both difficult to forecast or what extreme that maybe on its way to our shores?
What is Energy Efficiency?
Energy efficiency is the use of less energy to perform the same task or produce the same result. Energy-efficient homes and buildings use less energy to heat, cool, and run appliances and electronics, and energy-efficient manufacturing facilities use less energy to produce goods.
Property renovation and EPC's?
You may already have a good understanding of the types of changes you may need to make to your property to make it more energy efficient, however what if you do not?
You could commission Summit Environmental for an EPC to be completed on your home, and this once lodged would be on the Governments National EPC register for ten years, by which time you would have instigated another EPC to confirm the changes that you have made and the expected benefits, of your improvements.
Alternatively, you could have Summit Environmental to complete an Energy Assessment, this would give you all the same recommendations of an EPC, but without the lodgement, and the benefit of not duplicating EPCs.
EPC and energy efficiency?
When an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), or Energy Assessment is completed, a list of recommendations will be produced, for improvements to be made to your property. These should be looked at and completed in sequential order to get the maximum benefit to your property, for both energy efficiency and cost savings.
Please consider that not every recommendation, is suitable for every property and the benefit of a property survey, may save expensive additions to your property that may be inappropriate. For example, not all cavity walls will benefit from cavity wall insulation, and what may be achieved is a thermal bridge that may lead to damp being imported into your property.
Any credible installer should be able to advise you of what is right for your property without the cost of works being completed that may be detrimental to your property and causing you long term problems.
Regardless of completing an Energy Performance Certificate or an Energy Assessment, always consider that both are non-intrusive surveys, therefore whatever the energy improvements hat you bring to your property, ensure that where there are guarantees, or receipts for work completed offer them to your surveyor, for the information to be included in your follow on and hopefully much improved Energy Performance Certificate.
Your energy performance assessor can measure the depth of insulation that is fitted into your roof space, or the age of the boiler that is within the property, but additions such as cavity wall insulation, and floor insulation are not so obvious, and should not be excluded from the EPC, if the works have been completed.
Typically, the recommendations that show up on most EPCs for the established property and depending on what is in place already are as follows.
- Roof Insulation, the current recommendation is 270mm.
- Floor Insulation, retrofitted to existing solid or suspended floors.
- Wall insulation, cavity wall or internal or external insulation.
- Boiler Upgrades, plus better or more controls, such as thermostats, zone control and radiator valves. Heat pumps are referred to for their reduced effect on the environment, but normally do not score well on an EPC due to their constant running, and storage of hot water, in large tanks.
- Replacement double glazing, high efficiency, or triple glazing.
- Solar water heating.
- Solar Voltaic panels, connected to your electric meter and battery storage.
- Wind Turbines for property in the country.
The payback time on some of the recommendations for your property may take years to pay back with a significant outlay. However, on a national picture the saving in energy will be vast and the reduced CO2 emissions is part of what the EPC is designed to achieve, with the target of making the country carbon neutral by 2050.
One thing to consider is this, that as the energy efficiency of a property becomes more essential, both for individuals and finance, it is likely that not only will your energy efficient investments add value to your property, but more likely that a future purchaser may be offered finance more readily, to complete his purchase.
Within your EPC there are links to both Local and National Financial Grants that are currently available. Some of these may come and go some need to be assessed for suitability, but one thing for certain there is that assistance is out there.
How can Summit Environmental help?
If you need:
Energy Performance Certificate
Help to understand the recommendations on your EPC more fully.
Contact Summit Environmental we can help.