There seems to be an energy rating to cover most things these days. The ones we are more familiar with are those that we see on electrical equipment, such as fridges, freezers and windows.
With advances in modern technology it is likely we will soon find even more of these to help us to make choices in our everyday lives.
My first close encounter with an energy-rating scale was when I wanted to sell my house a few years ago. The government had just introduced the Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs).
A qualified EPC assessor surveys your home for its energy efficiency. This includes reviewing loft, wall and water tank insulation, heating systems, light bulbs and any other items in your home that can be more energy efficient and help to reduce energy costs. Once your home has been reviewed the certificate will offer advice on changes that can be made to improve your home. All properties that are sold or rented out require an EPC prior to a change of ownership.
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Image from Thornley DEA
When EPC’s were first introduced there was a huge outcry from the general public. Home-owners were concerned that it would affect house prices and would be a huge cost to them getting the property up to a required standard before its sale.
We are now a few years on from the introduction of the EPC and think we have become more aware of our homes’ overall performance, both as a result of the scheme and through the increase of energy prices that have affected us all when heating our homes.
So, how does the EPC work?
Once the EPC has been carried out and you have received your certificate, the property is rated along an alphabetical scale, with ‘A’ being good – ‘G’ being bad.
If your rating is not as good as you had hoped you may want to make a few changes to help your home to reach your home’s suggested energy rating potential. Small energy gains can be achieved by changing the light bulbs you use, but for larger energy rating improvements it is likely that some level of investment will be required. For some people these reports could be quite shocking reading, but can highlight potential cost savings that can be made. For many the grade they are awarded confirms what they perhaps already knew about their homes. Big Energy Saving Week can offer you ideas to make those savings for your home.
If you find out that you only have draughty windows, it may be as simple as upgrading to a more energy efficient window. These windows achieve the highest energy rating band of an ‘A’ by keeping the draughts out and helping to keep more of the heat in your home, reducing your heating energy usage and cutting down on your fuel bills.
An A-rated Anglian Ecogain window
Other improvements you may make to help you better your energy rating could include insulating pipes, draught proofing doors, letter boxes, chimneys, adding floor insulation and putting lagging on your hot water tank, all of which can add up to make a significant saving to your energy costs for your home during a year.
If you would like to get a better idea of how energy efficient your home is at present and where you might be able to make improvements why not try this Home Energy Checker from the Energy Savings Trust.
To find out if you are eligible for a grant to improve your home’s overall energy efficiency, contact your local Council authority and they will advise you of the process to be followed.
To us, saving money on energy bills to spend on things you like doing, in the long term, and helping to save the environment from global warming has to be worth the investment.
Why not take a look around the room you are in and think of any changes that you can make that will save you money.
We are sure you will be surprised by your findings!
As it is British Energy Saving Week to find out more please visit our page and share energy saving tips for your chance to win £7000 worth of energy saving windows! click here