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The UK government has committed itself to reducing the impact of greenhouse gas emissions on the planet. The aim is to cut emissions to almost zero by 2050; part of the Climate Change Act of 2008. This means that emissions from transport, farming, industry and homes will be avoided as much as possible or offset by removing CO2 from the atmosphere and planting trees.
There is no doubt that we could all be doing something to improve the impact we have on the planet for the future. Research conducted on the carbon emissions expelled by European countries discovered that the UK was one of the lead perpetrators, with homes in the South West coming out with the highest emissions values.
The average UK family produces ten tonnes of carbon monoxide per year. Not only does this have a huge impact on the environment, but also household bills. With a shift towards greener living becoming the norm a greater focus has been put upon energy efficient home improvements. So, is it possible to do your bit for the planet and also sell your home for a greater profit?
It is no secret that the majority of us install solar panels or invest in a new boiler simply to save money on our bills. With increases in fuel bills happening every year green home renovations are becoming more and more popular. Inevitably a wider impact from such changes is decreasing our carbon footprint. And there’s an another hidden benefit: if you wish to sell your property, going green could see your property selling for a higher price.
Each property in the UK has an EPC rating attached to it. The Energy Performance Certificate is a measure of a property’s energy efficiency. Graded from A to G, an EPC of A means the property is energy efficient whereas a result of G means there is serious room for improvement.
Based on average property prices in England, research pertains that properties with an EPC rating of A or B tend to sell for 14% more than those ranked G. Even improving your property’s EPC from G to F could see a property value increase of 6% if you were to sell. This means a property originally valued at £300,000 with an EPC rating of G could increase to £318,000 by moving to up to band F. With prices for improvements starting at £70 and peaking at around £8,000 there is still profit to be had.
Making your home green and improving your EPC rating inevitably comes at a price. Jumping from G to A can be extremely costly and eat into any profit you were destined to make upon selling. However, jumping one or two EPC ratings doesn’t break the bank and can still leave you with a property higher valuation. Three of the most popular ways people improve their EPC ratings can be seen below.
Typically, older boilers such as back boilers, open-flued boilers and old fire boilers are rated G. Installing a high-efficiency boiler can see the EPC rating for some properties jump two bands, such as G to E or D to B. Whilst the cost of a new boiler and installation is typically around £2500 and upwards for an efficient model, you will be saving yourself money in the long term and improving your EPC rating, meaning more money if you sell.
Believe it or not, not all energy efficient lighting is created equal. However, what it will do is help you save money on electricity bills and help improve your EPC rating, meaning a better asking price if you decide to sell your home. There is a myriad of ways to invest in switching to LEL – from complete refits to switching up bulbs.
Incandescent lighting has been around for over 100 years and is the least efficient way to light your home. They have been phased out in the UK and you can rarely purchase bulbs anymore. Today, LED lighting is the most efficient way to light a property. Usually all refurbished and new build properties in the UK are fitted with LED lighting systems so that home owners can benefit from their long lifespans and cheaper cost of running.
Although it may sound archaic, lighting is calculated in a very simple way when an EPC test is being carried. All of the lights in a property are counted and the number of low energy lights tallied up. Whilst improving the lighting in a property won’t have you jumping EPC bands like fitting a new boiler, the points will make a difference. Some households have jumped a band which can have an impact on the value of your property by one or 2%.
Cavity and loft insulation is an inexpensive way of improving the EPC rating of your property. Each energy efficient measure in a home is given a certain amount of points which all add up to move properties through the different bands.
Different thicknesses of insulation will result in a different number of points. 270mm is the bare legal requirement for lofts so it is important to check yours is suitable. When it comes to solid and cavity walls, insulation starts at 50mm and typically peaks at 270mm, although larger volumes are available.
Even though every property is different, ensuring your property is correctly insulated can make a huge impact on your EPC rating; some properties have moved two bands through making this change. As it is also one of the cheapest ways to reduce your heating bills it is worth considering if you want to reduce your carbon footprint and achieve a higher property price.
Making improvements to your home doesn’t need to be costly. Furthermore, having the added peace of mind that you are saving money on your bills and increasing the value of your home whilst helping the environment is a recipe for success. Take a look around your home and see what energy efficient measures you currently have in place and distinguish any areas for improvement if you are considering selling your house.