How to improve your EPC rating


We all know how important it is to go green – but there’s a step you can take that goes beyond just recycling and minimising your use of plastic. We’re talking about taking into consideration your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating, a tangible, measurable scorecard awarded to your house for its energy efficiency.

And this isn’t just something green-minded people should be thinking about – with new legislation going into place that requires rented homes obtain a certain EPC rating, it’s something landlords will have to bear in mind too.

What is an energy performance rating?

Energy performance rating

Your home’s energy performance rating is essentially its energy-efficiency score given in the form of an EPC rating. It’s required for whenever a property is built, sold or rented, and includes information about a property’s energy use and how much that typically costs, as well as recommendations on reducing energy use.

Each EPC awards a property with a letter score, ranging from A (the top) to G (the lowest). Not all buildings require an EPC, but these are typically places you don’t live in fulltime (i.e., places of worship, certain holiday accommodations and temporary buildings). If you don’t know your home’s EPC, you can search for it online.

Understanding the new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES)

According to the new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES), beginning on the 1st April 2018, the government requires every home that’s let in the private rented sector must have a minimum of an E energy performance rating. At the moment, this is just for properties that are let or with renewed tenancies from the 1st April 2018 – this requirement will move to include all existing tenancies on the 1st April 2020.

What this means is, it’s illegal to rent a property with an energy performance rating lower than E. Those landlords that don’t comply will be met with a civil penalty of up to £4,000.

It should be noted that there are certain exemptions to this rule, so if you’re a landlord, you should take the time to fully read over the new requirements.

Steps you can take to improve your energy performance rating

Energy-efficient windows

  1. Install double- or triple-glazed windows, as they can help seal heat in your home and prevent you from wasting energy.
  2. Replace your appliances with those that have a higher energy rating (this is noted on the colourful sticker included with new appliances).
  3. Switch to LED lightbulbs.
  4. Make the change from a boiler to a central heating system.
  5. Insulate your loft with insulation that’s at least 270mm thick.


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