How to improve your EPC to C or above and reduce energy costs up to 60%
Developer, landlord and letting and managing agent James Tanner and wife Tatiana are passionate about energy efficiency. Following the completion of an eco-retrofit on an Edwardian house - which they carried out while retaining the original period features - they have written a checklist for landlords, detailing low-cost improvements that can have a significant impact on the energy efficiency of rental homes.
For landlords and homeowners making properties more energy efficient will reduce energy costs and increase EPC ratings. For tenants the benefits are lower energy bills and greater comfort.
We have implemented the ideas below and the EPC on our house increased from G to almost A - 89 points, our heating bills reduced 60%.
There are a number of simple changes you can implement to make your property more energy efficient, many of which cost nothing. There is also good advice that you can give to your tenants that will help them reduce their bills.
Advice for landlords
- Fit thermostat controls on all radiators, which tenants can turn off in rooms they are not using.
- Insulate hot water cylinder to reduce heat loss.
- Bleed all radiators several times a year
- Arrange boiler service and check boiler pressure annually
- Fit sensor lighting externally and in communal areas so no lights are left on unnecessarily
- Replace electricity provider for one which produces 100% clean electricity from renewable energy eg : Good Energy and Ecotricity
- Draught-proof windows and all external doors to stop cold air entering the property.
- Block chimneys not used to prevent draughts entering your property
- Replace kitchen appliances and central heating boiler for the most energy efficient type possible ( kitchen appliances A +++)
- Replace airbricks with Passivers which have sheep wool inside them, to stop cold air coming into the property and they let out moisture
- Arrange a plumber to do a powerflush, to remove all the sludge which builds up inside your radiators and radiator pipework, this should be done every five years, so less heating is needed
- Install humidistats in bathrooms to automatically remove steam to reduce mould
- Add natural breathable insulation in the loft eg sheep wool
- Replace lighting for LED low energy lights
Advise tenants to review the timer for hot water, set it to on only when they need to use it, for example for three hours in the morning and evening. If they did this and turned down the temperature to 60C, they could save up to 40 % on their heating bill.
Similarly you could advise them to review the timer for the central heating and use only when needed and to close all windows to stop the heat escaping when the heating is switched on.
Other options to make your property more energy efficient
There are additional changes you can make to improve energy efficiency – although these would require more major works. They include:
- Fitting natural breathable internal or external cavity/solid wall insulation on the walls which face outside, ground floor underfloor, basement, and roof insulation, with ventilation, although specialist professional advice including building control is needed.
- Double/ triple glaze the windows and glass on external doors.
- Install PV panels on the roof with battery storage and use at night.
Review your energy consumption, then apply the above tips to improve your EPC and reduce the energy bills and carbon footprint of your property by at least 50%.
For further FREE information you can contact:
The Energy Saving Trust also has a free monthly email newsletter with energy saving tips for your property.
Copyright 2021. All rights reserved. James and Tatiana Tanner.