Energy efficiency grants for homeowners – How you can save money and improve EPC score

Gas boiler ban: Experts discuss the impact on selling homes

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Making our homes more energy efficient can involve everything from small jobs like draught-proofing your home, to trickier tasks such as cavity wall insulation and boiler replacements. Taking steps towards more energy efficient appliances and central heating systems is just one way the Government is trying to hit their 2050 zero net emissions target – but what can you do to play your part in lowering carbon emissions and improving your EPC score?

What is an EPC score?

Energy Performance Certificates are an official document that measures the energy efficiency of a property using a rating system.

Your house’s EPC rating will be determined by an assessor who will measure the efficiency of the building based on the amount of energy used per metre squared and the level of carbon dioxide emissions (given in tonnes per year).

An EPC score is important in the buying, selling and renting process to give potential buyers an idea of the running costs of their home and a guide to the home improvements which could increase the efficiency of the property – increasing the score.

EPC’s are valid for ten years from the date they are issued and should be renewed accordingly before trying to sell or rent a property.

How good is your EPC rating?

Your home is measured in numerical values to determine its efficiency using the government’s Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP).

SAP points range from one to 100 and are divided into bands A-G.

  • EPC rating A = 92-100 SAP points (most efficient)
  • EPC rating B = 81-91 SAP points
  • EPC rating C = 69-80 SAP points
  • EPC rating D = 55-68 SAP points
  • EPC rating E = 39-54 SAP points
  • EPC rating F = 21-38 SAP points
  • EPC rating G = 1-20 SAP points (least efficient)

If your property is rated as band E, F or G, you will be more likely to qualify for a Government energy efficiency grant.

Energy Companies Obligations (ECO) scheme

This grant is aimed at low income households with inefficient energy systems in their home and is most suited to those receiving a range of Government benefits including Child Benefit and disability benefits.

Energy companies are obliged to offer energy focused home improvements at a significantly lower cost to those in need of a more efficient home – this includes cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, boiler replacements and floor insulation.

You can check if you are eligible for the scheme here.

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Green energy incentives

Long term low-emission solutions can save you large sums of money in the long run by installing renewable energy sources to heat and power your home.

The Government’s 2023 ‘boiler ban’ aims to phase out fossil-fueled boilers and replace them with renewable alternatives as part of their greener Britain mission – announcing that all new-build homes will be required to use renewable sources rather than traditional gas boilers.

As a way of encouraging more people to make the switch, the Government has been running the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive scheme since 2014 – offering a monetary incentive to help people cut emissions, while making their home’s more efficient.

UK energy regulator, Ofgem says: “People who join the scheme and stick to its rules receive quarterly payments for seven years for the amount of clean, green renewable heat it’s estimated their system produces.”

How to improve energy efficiency in your home

16 solar panels can add up to 10 points to your EPC rating and you can choose to put renewable electricity back into the national grid in a scheme known as the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) which can lower your energy tariff significantly.

A well installed air source heat pump system can be as much as 400 percent more efficient in electricity usage according to evergreenenergy.com.

Install a Smart Meter to track and control your heating and energy consumption.

Replace inefficient appliances with items that have a higher efficiency rating- A+ or above.

Switch to LED lightbulbs – they use half the amount of energy as halogen bulbs

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