How to improve your EPC rating D and below?

Mar 10, 2024 | Expert Advice, Grant Schemes and Funding

Improving your property’s energy efficiency can significantly enhance its Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating, especially if it’s currently rated D or below.

An EPC rating is a key indicator of a property’s energy efficiency, reflecting both energy costs and energy bills. Achieving a higher EPC not only reduces energy costs but also contributes to making your home more energy efficient.

This post will dive into EPC rating meaning and will guide you through various energy-saving improvements that can elevate your property’s EPC score.

Pro Tip:
Looking for quick answers? Jump to our Commonly Asked Questions about EPC Rating D and Rental Properties Summary.

EPC rating D certificate

How do I find my EPC rating ?

There are two ways to do this. First, check if your property already has EPC rating assigned. You can do that on the government website: Find energy performance certificate (England & Wales) and here is EPC lookup tool for Scotland.

If your home’s energy rating is not there, you will need a professional to assess it. To do so, either check your eligibility for Energy Company Obligation (ECO) grants and this assessment will be carried out by UK Energy Support surveyer for free as part of the ECO4 scheme if you qualify, or you will have to hire somebody to have your heat loss reviewed. There are many Energy Crisis Support Schemes, designed to help households manage soaring energy bills that will involve updating EPC score as part of a grant.

To find your EPC rating, a comprehensive assessment of your home’s energy efficiency is conducted, considering factors like energy-efficient boilers, light bulbs, and renewable energy technologies. Replacing incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient light bulbs and installing an energy-efficient boiler are among the energy efficiency improvements that can enhance your home’s performance.

The EPC rating reflects adherence to minimum energy efficiency standards, with the average EPC rating serving as a benchmark. Understanding these elements helps in identifying your property’s position in terms of energy efficiency measures and potential upgrades for a more energy-efficient living space.

Quick Tip: Getting an EPC Certificate

Obtaining Energy Performance Certificates is straightforward. If you decide to hire an accredited domestic energy assessor, he or she will evaluate your property and provide the certificate. This certificate remains valid for 10 years. If you’re unsure where to find an assessor, the EPC register is a good starting point, listing accredited professionals in your area.

To secure an EPC for your property:

  1. Engage an accredited domestic energy assessor.
  2. Allow them to evaluate your energy efficiency of your property.
  3. Receive your EPC, detailing your home’s energy rating and suggested improvements.
epc propertys energy performance

Why should I improve the EPC rating of my home?

Improving the score of your home through energy-saving upgrades is a strategic move to lower energy bills, save money, and enhance your property’s overall efficiency.

By focusing on how much energy your property consumes and where loss of heat occurs, you can identify key areas to improve energy efficiency.

Elevating your home to an EPC rating of C or higher results in a more energy-efficient home, reducing energy consumption significantly.

Such improvements not only make for a warmer, more comfortable living space but also increase the market value of your property and make it more appealing to potential buyers or tenants.

Financial Incentives and Support for EPC Improvement

Homeowners seeking to enhance their EPC ratings and achieve a more energy savvy home can benefit from the Boiler Upgrade, ECO4 and Great British Insulation Scheme grants. These incentives are designed to lower carbon dioxide emissions, reduce fuel bills, and contribute to creating a good EPC rating, moving homes towards a high EPC rating or at least a C rating.

To qualify, your current EPC rating will be assessed under the government’s standard assessment procedure, considering your property’s energy consumption, carbon footprint, and potential energy savings. Checking eligibility for these grants is crucial for homeowners and landlords aiming to comply with evolving EPC regulations for rental properties.

For detailed eligibility criteria and application processes, visit our website and discover how you can make your home use more energy efficiently, ultimately saving on costs and reducing environmental impact.

energy performance certificate epc rating d meaning

Here are top 11 ways to improve your EPC rating D and lower

Sealing drafts around doors, windows

and other openings is a cost-effective way to tackle significant heat loss which can make your heating system work harder by increasing energy consumption. Simple measures like applying weatherstripping or using draft excluders can make a noticeable difference in maintaining your home’s warmth and reducing your energy bills, thus potentially improving your EPC rating.

Using energy-efficient appliances

Appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, and washing machines account for a substantial portion of household power use. By choosing products with higher energy efficiency ratings, you can significantly reduce your home’s overall energy consumption.

Ensuring your heating system is properly maintained

Regular servicing and maintenance of your boiler and heating system can improve their efficiency, reduce power usage , and prevent costly breakdowns. Upgrading to a more efficient heating system or repairing existing issues can also help.

Switching from incandescent light bulbs to LED lighting

is a straightforward yet effective method to improve your property’s EPC ratings. LED bulbs are far more efficient, directly impacting your current rating and pushing your property into higher rating bands.

Insulating your hot water cylinder

can significantly reduce loss of heat. This simple upgrade can move your property from a lower rating, potentially even from an EPC rating D, towards more favourable potential ratings.

Replacing an old boiler

with a new condensing boiler can drastically enhance your property’s energy efficiency. For new tenants, the presence of a modern boiler system can be a deciding factor.

Replacing single glazed windows

with double glazing is an effective way to improve your property’s insulation. This change not only enhances the comfort of the building but also significantly reduces energy loss.

Installing or upgrading insulation

Insulation weather done through insulation grants or privately can significantly help with improving EPC.

  • Loft insulation is a key step towards a more efficient property. Effective loft insulation can prevent a considerable amount of heat from escaping.
  • Floor insulation helps in minimising loss of heat through the floor, particularly in older properties where this can be a major source of energy waste. This upgrade can improve your property’s band and bring your property closer to its potential ratings.
  • Cavity Wall insulation is crucial for reducing heat loss, especially in properties with solid walls. Installing wall insulation can transform the energy efficiency of your building.

Installing solar panels

can significantly reduce your dependency on traditional energy sources, lowering your energy bills and carbon footprint. Solar panels can push your property into higher rating bands.

Smart heating controls

offer precision in managing your property’s heating schedule and temperature, reducing unnecessary heating and improving your property’s energy efficiency. Smart meters are instrumental in optimising energy use throughout the building.

Getting Air Source heat pumps

Installing an air source heat pump can significantly boost your property’s EPC ratings by lowering energy consumption and improving your property’s heating loss. This upgrade can elevate your property’s energy performance, making it both environmentally friendly and attractive to eco-conscious tenants.

Long-term Savings vs. Upfront Costs.

Improving your minimum EPC rating to a better energy rating, such as moving from a low EPC rating D or below to an EPC C and above, involves initial expenses but offers significant long-term savings on running costs.

For instance, a property with an E rating on its EPC report might deter prospective buyers, affecting its market value. EPC assessors highlight areas where enhancements can improve your score, directly impacting the quality of a rental property or any residence.

While new EPC regulations for rented properties may seem daunting, investing in upgrades not only ensures your property meets these standards but also reduces power usage —a major source of ongoing expenses.

The potential rating after improvements can have a significant impact on reducing future costs, making it an attractive feature for homeowners and landlords alike, signalling a well-maintained, energy-efficient home to future buyers or tenants.

EPC and Rental Properties: What Landlords Need to Know

Landlords should be acutely aware of the legal requirements surrounding EPC ratings in rental properties, particularly the implications of owning one with an EPC rating D or below.

Regulations mandate a minimum score for properties to rent, with potential penalties for non-compliance that can include hefty fines.

Moreover, properties with higher EPC ratings are more attractive in the rental market, often commanding higher rents and attracting tenants more quickly due to their lower running costs.

Monitoring and Maintaining Your Improved EPC Rating

Once you’ve achieved an improvement in your EPC rating D, maintaining or even enhancing it is crucial.

Regular checks and updates to new technologies are essential. Consider investing in the modern systems and adopting behavioural changes to reduce consumption of energy further.

Staying informed about new energy-saving methods and technologies can help ensure your home remains competitive and continues to meet the evolving standards.

Commonly Asked Questions about EPC Rating D and Rental Properties

What should I consider if a rental property has an EPC rating of D?

Consider the property’s overall comfort, including whether it feels warm and well-maintained. The EPC rating provides a measure of energy efficiency, but personal comfort and the presence of features like double glazing and central heating are also important.

How significant are LED lights in improving a property's EPC rating?

While LED lights can be helpful, their impact on the overall EPC score is relatively minor. Focus on larger factors like insulation, heating systems, and double glazing for more significant improvements.

Is an EPC rating of D common for rental properties?

Yes, an EPC rating of D is around the national average. It indicates a level of efficiency that is quite typical across the UK.

Can a property with good insulation still feel cold?

Yes, factors such as drafty windows or poor heating systems can make a well-insulated home feel cold. It’s essential to address these issues to improve overall comfort and heating efficiency.

Should I discuss potential energy efficiency improvements with the landlord?

Yes, discussing potential improvements with the landlord is a good idea, especially for straightforward upgrades like loft insulation. Some landlords may be willing to undertake these improvements to comply with future EPC regulations especially since they are often fully funded by government grants.

Are there any quick tips for making a D-rated property more energy-efficient?

Improvements can include sealing drafts, using modern appliances, and ensuring the heating system is properly maintained. Every little bit helps.

Is it worth renting a property with a low EPC rating?

This depends on your personal comfort preferences and the cost implications. While a low EPC score can indicate higher energy costs, the actual comfort and warmth of the home are also crucial factors to consider.
Article written by
Abbie Hall

Abbie Hall

Abbie is an ECO4 specialist helping homeowners to enhance their home’s energy efficiency using government funding. With her guidance, many have adopted sustainable living practices and reduced their energy bills.
Government backed scheme

Are You Eligible for the government initiated ECO4 Grant?

The energy efficiency of your home may be improved for free if you own a property and receive the correct income-related benefits or tax credits.

Find out if you qualify for the ECO4 scheme by starting your eligibility check below.

icon background

Find out if you’re eligible to receive the grant below

icon background

Our Energy Advisor will book a no obligation survey followed by installation appointment if you qualify

icon background

Start saving £££ while keeping your house warm & cosy