In recent months the cost of energy, especially gas and electricity, has increased with the price cap being raised again in April. The price rise is affecting how buyers and tenants choose which property is right for them and will have implications for the housing market in general. Here we will look over how the rising cost of energy is changing attitudes towards the energy efficiency of properties and how you can increase your property’s EPC rating.
With the global economy starting to ramp up and the uncertainty caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine the price of energy, particularly natural gas, have skyrocketed. According to Ofgem, the UK government’s energy market regulator, the global gas price has experienced a record increase in the past 6 months. Because of this, the energy price cap is being raised by 54%. Bills are predicted to increase by £693 for direct debit customers and £708 for prepaid customers per year. This comes on the back of a £153 increase in October last year and is leading people to reassess the importance of energy efficiency.
According to the Home Builders Federation, nearly a quarter of Brits are concerned about the energy efficiency of their current home. Additionally, a quarter of people surveyed stated that the energy efficiency of a building would be critical when considering their next move. HBF’s Executive Chairman, Stewart Baseley stated that;
“These results suggest we’re now entering the era of energy efficiency becoming an ever more crucial factor in how we select our next home – and with energy bills rising it’s never been more important for homebuyers to weigh up these costs as they consider their next move.”
The implications of this shift in paradigm will see lower energy efficient properties being seen as less appealing by buyers and renters. Properties with high EPC ratings will be perceived as more desirable, which may likely fetch a higher price when sold and spend less time on the market. However, while there is an increased awareness about energy savings there are ample and cost-effective number of ways in which to increase a property’s energy efficiency rating.
There are a multitude of ways in which the energy efficiency of a property can be dramatically increased. We will highlight some of the most cost-effective ways to increase a property’s energy efficiency. These suggestions will affect all types of properties but the most significant savings will be seen in rental properties with bills included.
Loft insulation is one of the best and easiest ways to increase the EPC ratings of a property. The insulation is often quick to install. Which? estimates that a properly insulated loft can create savings of up to £315 per year. Additionally, loft insulation is extremely quick to install with the average 3 bedroom house only taking 2 hours for a full fitting.
Another cost-effective method to increase a property’s energy efficiency is to replace old light bulbs with LEDs. According to the Energy Saving Trust each bulb replaced with an LED can make savings of between £2 to £3 per year with the average house being able to save £40 per year if all lights are replaced. LEDs also have a longer life than standard incandescent light bulbs so you will also make savings as fewer replacements are needed.
Thermostatic radiator valves (TRV) are a very effective way of increasing energy efficiency. As most houses in the UK use wet heating (water boiler systems) TRV can be installed on all radiators. A 2018 BEAMA study found that at 5oC a TRVs can reduce energy consumption by 14%. This energy consumption reduction increases to 41% when the temperature is 15oC. These savings can reduce energy costs throughout the year, not just in the winter months. If you want to increase these savings further then you can get smart TRVs that are connected digitally to the central heating, however, the installation cost of these might cost more.
The final suggestion for how to increase a property’s energy efficiency is by insulating windows. According to Stevenage Glass between 18% and 25% of a home’s heating losses happen through the windows. This can however be reduced by making sure all windows are double glazed. Double glazed windows create an air gap between the inside and outside worlds reducing how much heat can be transferred. So in the winter, less heat will be lost. Additionally, in sunnier months double glazed windows will reduce heat intake meaning more savings can be made on cooling a property.
Overall, in the coming months and years, the energy efficiency of a property is only going to rise in importance. These concerns are being driven by rising energy prices and increasing concerns about climate change.
If you are looking to improve the energy efficiency of your rental property, or want to reduce the running costs of your rental property, please get in touch with us here.