EPC Rating C
What it takes to achieve an EPC rating C
Over the last few years, it has become a very important target in getting your property to achieve an EPC rating of a C.
The main reasons being:
- It is the expected minimum rating that all privately rented properties need to be in 2025 to be compliant with the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards.
- It is the rating required to be able to get a Green Mortgage which offers preferential interest rates to properties that have an EPC rating of a C or higher.
We’ll look at both of these in detail a bit later.
Over the last year, as an accredited epc provider, we’ve seen a massive jump in customers actual being interested in the rating on their epc certificates. Prior to that, a lot of customers saw the EPC as additional red tape and little more than a tick box exercise to get their property sold or rented.
What does it take to get to a C rating
With an average UK property rating as a D60, a C rating is achieved once it gets to 69 sap points. To get to that figure is usually more difficult than most people thing.
What is EPC rating?
The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) will rate the energy efficiency of your property in bands from 0 being the lowest (poorest energy efficiency) to 92+. Each band is given a rating as shown below, from G the lowest to A the highest
What is a good EPC rating?
With an average UK property being rated as a D60, anything higher than that would be considered a good rating.
If your property has an epc, it will be found on the epc register at https://www.gov.uk/find-energy-certificate.
Once on the site you can search to see the rating on your EPC. If the EPC has expired it would pay to get it updated, as improvements that may have been carried out since then, may not be showing on the old EPC.
How to get your property to an EPC rating C
The truth is not all improvements are equal, some will get you over the line cheaper and quicker. I’ll explain later which ones give you the most bang for your bucks.
Not all “improvements” are improvements. The EPC rating is based on how much it costs to provide heating and hot water to the property.
We come across common mistakes people make that actual lower the rating of the EPC, therefore taking you further away from your target.
You’re going to need the services of a qualified EPC Domestic Energy Assessor. This will not only save you money, so you don’t waste money carrying out improvements in the wrong area.
You can then also request detailed step by step instructions on the most cost-effective way to achieve a C rating in your specific case.
These 3 things have the biggest impact on the EPC rating:
- The levels of insulation in the property.
- The heating system and heating controls.
- The type of fuel used to heat the property. i.e gas, electric, oil etc.
Let’s have a look at each of these in turn.
Levels of Insulation
Insulation significantly reduces the amount of energy needed to heat the home and therefore this contributes in a big way to increase the EPC rating. If you have access to the loft space, ensure you have at least 270mm of insulation.
If the property wasn’t built with insulation and it has been subsequently upgraded, then provide documentary evidence of what insulation has been fitted in areas that an Assessor wouldn’t be able to see during a normal inspection, such as:
• Internal wall insulation
• Sloping ceilings
• Flat roofs
If the Assessor can’t see it or has no documentary evidence, then it can’t be entered into the software. An assumed value will then be used by the software based on the age of that particular section of the property.
If the property is a newer property that would have been built with insulation this is not a problem. However, if it’s an older property then producing this evidence is more important.
Heating system and heating controls
An efficient heating system with a low cost of fuel such as gas is key to getting to that C rating. If there is a gas boiler, then it will need to be a modern condensing boiler.
Electric panel heaters rate poorly on the EPC. This is because it costs 3 times more to heat the same home with electric than it does with gas.
The only time this type of heating system will get to C is if the property has good insulation and a relatively small amount of heat loss areas such as a flat. If this type of heating is used it will also need to have a timer and an appliance thermostat.
If the property doesn’t reach a C, then you may have to look at changing the panel heaters to off peak High Heat Retention storage heaters.
These are cheaper to run, thus improving the EPC rating.
If you have an oil boiler, this again would probably have to be a modern condensing boiler.
C rated properties will often have time and temperature control of the heating system. So boilers would need to have a programmer/timer, room thermostat and thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs).
If the home is heated by electric, it would need to have appliance thermostat and appliance programmer.
An additional 1 or 2 rating points can be achieved if the property has time and temperature zone controls for different area of the property, especially if the property is large.
This can be by having a programmer that can control different zones independently or by using modern smart TRVs.
The Impact Of Type of Fuel Used to Heat The Home – This will surprise you.
The fuel type plays a massive part in the final energy rating of a property.
The reason is that some types of fuel are very expensive to heat a property and hence rates the epc lower.
For example a 20 year old gas boiler with an efficiency of only 69% will still rate better than a brand new peak rate electric panel heater that is 100% efficient.
Here is the list of most expensive to least expensive fuels used to heat a home.
If your property is heated by LPG then it’s nearly impossible to get to a C without having solar panels to reduce the properties energy costs.
Here are the 5 steps to take to get to an EPC Rating C
- Get a new EPC carried out to find out the current rating of your property.
- Don’t guess what to do. Employ the services of a qualified domestic energy assessor. Your Assessor will advise the most cost-effective way for you to get to a C.
They will have a better understanding of the software and in some cases produce quick wins.
Here’s an example.
Did you know that if you have an electric fire as secondary heating, that it will downgrade your EPC rating by 4 – 5 points.
So, removing this appliance if its not really needed will improve your rating without incurring any additional costs.
- Provide documentary evidence of elements of insulation in the property that cant be seen.
- Follow the step-by-step instructions provided by the Assessor to reach the desired rating.
- Get a new EPC done to reflect the new rating.
If after all the above have been done and the property still does not reach a C, then you can apply for a Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard exemption.
Get in touch.