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What’s your home energy score?

Interest in home energy efficiency has understandably skyrocketed since March 2020, when we were all told we needed to spend a lot more time at home. A more energy-efficient home is not only better for the environment but it will save you money and could even make your home more valuable. It’s also a godsend when you’re spending 24 hours a day within the same four walls in the dead of winter.

While things are not looking quite as bleak now as they did back then, new COVID-19 variants point to a future of working from home becoming more of a permanent solution. So it should be within the interests of anyone to at least get a solid understanding of their home energy score and how it can be improved. Let’s start by looking at how to calculate your home energy score.

Calculating your home energy score

There are two ways to calculate your home energy score, one official and the other more for your own records. If you simply wish to figure out how much you’re spending and where you can cut back then an online home energy calculator might suffice.

These calculators allow you to input all of the data available to you and figure out roughly how efficient your home is. However, many of these calculators are created by energy companies with hidden agendas and even the independent ones are far from accurate. They are useful for giving you a broad outline of your energy use but we wouldn’t recommend relying on them.

While home energy calculators can give you a rough idea of your home’s energy efficiency, the definitive way to change your EPC (energy performance certificate) rating is to get a domestic EPC assessment. This will be undertaken by a trained individual who will inspect your home and tailor their assessment to it.

The EPC works on a scale of 1 to 100 SAP (standard assessment procedure) points and falls into bands that range from A to G, with A representing a very energy efficient property and G representing the most inefficient property. You have an energy efficiency rating, which measures running costs, and an environmental impact rating, which measures CO2 emissions. Nine times out of ten, the bands sync up but there are rare cases in which they don’t.

To ascertain where your home falls on the EPC scale, the assessor will mark it from 1 to 100 and issue you with a certificate that proves how efficient your property is. If you’re planning on selling your home, this is something you’ll legally require to list the property. You’ll also need to sort out a fresh assessment every ten years.

Improving your EPC rating

If you are unimpressed by your home energy score there are ways to improve it, not all of which are going to give your wallet a hard time.

Insulation – Loft insulation is surprisingly simple to install and can make a major difference as long as it’s at least 270mm thick. Cavity wall insulation is a little more disruptive and costly but there are many initiatives you might qualify for that could help.

Boiler – While the government is towing a hard line with their desire to replace gas boilers with heat pumps, simply replacing your old boiler with a more efficient one or having your boiler serviced can have an impact.

Double or triple glazingUpgrading your windows and doors will have a demonstrable effect on your EPC rating and you’ll probably notice a reduction in noise as well.

Solar panels – The ultimate shortcut to an A rating is to install solar panels on your roof, though this is not going to be affordable or practical for all homeowners.