From F to B: Improving your EPC rating

Homeowners, developers and landlords have a responsibility to the planet – and they can reduce their energy bills substantially too. We talk to one landlord, whose Muswell Hill home is currently let by KFH, to show what can be done.

28 June, 2022

The 2009 film The Age of Stupid saw an archivist in the year 2055 looking back at how we missed the chance to tackle climate change and save the planet, asking: “Why didn’t we do anything?” Well, James and Tatiana Tanner did do something. “We saw The Age of Stupid and afterwards wanted to learn more about global warming,” James recounts.

“We then understood a lot more about the impact we have on the planet and realised how essential it is that we all live sustainably at home.” Rather than just talking about it, the Tanners got to work on their five-bedroom Muswell Hill property.

Perhaps reflecting a key issue in the world today, James says he was surprised how difficult it was to find a professional to guide them at a reasonable price. They wanted to undertake a retrofit of the entire house, all the while retaining the original Edwardian features. It was a challenge, James says, but one the husband and wife team took on enthusiastically.

Visiting the property today, which is currently being let through KFH, the beautiful Edwardian façade looks just like its neighbours, and inside you realise being eco-conscious doesn’t mean sacrificing design and comfort. The changes made by the Tanners has seen the property’s EPC rating jump from F to B.

An EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for ten years. “The Government has proposed that landlords cannot rent out their property unless their EPC is a minimum of C by 2025,” James adds. “They also propose that all properties have a minimum EPC of C by 2035.”

From F to B: Improving your EPC rating - Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward

They have a warm house, which needs little heating. As a result, they have low energy bills.

You can see at a glance the changes made by the Tanners to help improve the property’s energy efficiency, such as installing LED lighting, and James has also applied the same approach to his portfolio of properties – as a result, his tenants are reaping the benefits. “They have a warm house, which needs little heating. It does not get cold in the winter – there are no draughts or mould – or hot in the summer. As a result, they have low energy bills.”

As well as the EPC rating target, and helping the planet too, the financial benefits long term are unquestionable, with James saying they have saved “about £20,000” since making all the changes to the Muswell Hill home some eight years ago, with heating bills reduced from £2,500 pa to £900 pa. Maybe in 2055 people will look back at properties like this as a time when things changed for the better.

12 ways the Tanners improved their EPC rating

  1. 1

    A thermostat for hot water

    A thermostat to control the hot water temperature was installed.

  2. 2

    Boiler upgrade

    They replaced the boiler for a highly efficient condensing combi gas boiler, with a programmer so they can set the heating and hot water times.

  3. 3

    A thermostat for the radiators

    They added thermostat radiator controls on the radiators.

  4. 4

    Wall insulation

    Internal wall insulation was created by using natural breathable materials.

  5. 5

    LED lighting

    LED lighting and sensor lighting was introduced externally.

  6. 6

    New double glazing

    They replaced single glazed windows with Low-E argon gas filled double glazed windows, then draught proofed them.

  7. 7

    Floor insulation

    Under floor insulation was implemented on the ground floor.

  8. 8

    Solar panels

    Solar PV panels with an immersion heater were introduced so excess electricity can be generated, but when not used can make hot water.

  9. 9

    Loft and roof upgrades

    The loft and roof were insulated.

  10. 10

    Switched electricity provider

    They replaced their electricity provider for one who generates 100% of their energy from renewable energy

  11. 11

    Passive air vents

    They added passive air vents to each floor.

  12. 12

    Blocked cold air from entering

    Fireplaces were blocked to stop cold air entering the property.

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