Five cheap ways to improve your home's EPC rating – and it could save you £1,580 in energy bills | The Sun

YOU might think that your home is as energy efficient as it can be, but small errors could be costing you hundreds of pounds a year.

Spring is just around the corner meaning the heating may finally go off, but energy bills have soared recently.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has already extended the energy price guarantee until April 2023 – but is expected to do so again in the Budget on Wednesday.

The average household currently pays £2,500 a year.

However, how much you will pay will depend on your usage – £2,500 is not the highest possible amount.

An EPC rates how efficient properties are from A (the best) to G (the worst).

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It is a legally valid document which provides an energy efficiency rating in relation to a property’s running costs.

You can find your property's EPC on the government's website.

In it will be suggestions on green improvements for the house – which will save money on your bills in the long run.

But homeowners could be losing over £2,000 a year because they think their home is energy efficient when it's not, according to The Skipton Group.

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Nearly two-thirds (84%) of people presume they have an EPC rating of C or above while 45% admit to not paying close attention to sources of energy loss.

Over half (59%) of homes have a poor EPC rating and 66% are unaware of what their rating is.

The Sun spoke to Ed Whitworth, head of energy performance at business energy comparisons site Bionic, who offered his tips and tricks for improving EPC rating.

While some of the ways tips will mean you have to shell out a bit of money, it'll often be worth it in the long run.

Though of course, always tally up how much it is for you and your home as it'll vary from house to house.

Loft insulation – £55 a year

Ed said that one thing to consider is loft insulation.

He said: "Heat rises. And if your loft isn’t adequately insulated then the heat from your radiators will quickly escape through the roof.

"Fitting your loft with insulation that’s at least 270mm thick could save you around £55 a year."

The cost of loft insulation will depend on the property you live in and the type of insulation you get (blanket, loose fill, sheet etc).

For example, if you live in a terraced house, you could be paying anywhere between £125 and £1,270.

However, if you choose wisely, you could cut costs by fitting it yourself.

Ed said: "And it’s usually pretty easy to fit, so a DIY job could save you paying installation costs."

Of course, tally up how much you pay for energy versus how much the insulation will cost as it'll be different for everyone.

Double glazing – £195 a year

Secondly, Ed said households should consider getting double glazing in if they haven't already.

"Heat (not to mention your energy bills) doesn’t just go through the roof in poorly insulated buildings, it gets out through single-glazed windows and any cracks or gaps under doors.

"Replacing all single-glazed windows with A-rated double glazing could save an average semi-detached property about £195 a year.

The cost of any installation of new windows and doors also varies depending on a number of factors.

From the size of the doors and windows needed and whether they’re double or triple glazed, to where in the UK the installation is taking place, all of these variables will impact the cost.

London-based Tom Butler, a glass and glazing expert who works at said the amount you can save depends on the age of the window, the material and the cost of energy for that house.

As an example, a recent installation of eight windows and two doors in a three-bedroom semi-detached house cost in the region of £11,500, including VAT, Tom added.

Brits are throwing £616 out of draughty windows and doors each year on average, according to recent research conducted by

New boiler – £540 a year

Consider replacing your boiler with an A-rated condensing gas boiler, Ed said.

The energy expert reckons it could knock off about £540 a year.

He said: "Even if your boiler seems to be working well, if it’s more than 10 or 15 years old it’ll be getting less efficient each year and is worth replacing.

Of course, boilers are expensive so only consider doing this if you can afford it.

Make sure you're on top of your finances before splashing the cash as getting into debt could put you in an even worse situation.

Heat controls – £180

Ed said that if you're replacing your boiler, you may want to get new heat controls too.

"While you’re at it, fitting thermostatic controls to radiators along with a programmer and thermostat for your heating system will improve your EPC rating and could save you about £180 a year as you take control of the heating.

"It may also be looking into fitting heat pump as an alternative to gas-powered heating."

Install a water tank – £70 a year

Bionic's Ed said: "Insulating our hot water tank is a quick and easy energy-saving tip.

A jacket will cost around £17, and you should be able to fit it yourself. Look for one that’s 80mm thick and you could save up to £70 a year.

But do note first of all that if your boiler has a hot water tank, you should get a professional in to make any changes to the flow temperature.

If it doesn't, do also seek professional advice first and do not attempt to install anything yourself – if you cause damage to your boiler then this could incur more costs.

Getting a water tank installed could cost you around £600 so again, tally up whether it's worth it for you depending on your usage.

Wall insulation – £540 a year

Ed said: "We've covered the roof, replaced the windows, but lots of heat can escape through walls if they’re not properly insulated.

"The type of insulation, size of the job, and savings you can make will depend upon the type of walls you have."

Ed said cavity wall insulation could save you up to £395 a year while solid wall insulation could save you around £540 a year.

If you live in a detached single-story house, then the average cost of cavity wall insulation could cost you £400 to £450.

However, a solid wall installation could cost you thousands of pounds.

What energy bill help is available?

As part of the Autumn Statement, it was revealed millions on benefits and Universal Credit will receive an extra one-off payment of £900.

Struggling families are also eligible for the Warm House Discount to help them tackle the cost of living.

The scheme is where eligible households can get £150 off their electricity bill each winter – but you'll have to wait until the colder months to get the discount.

Households in England and Wales don't need to apply to get the cash and they'll automatically qualify if they are receiving certain benefits.

You can read more about who's eligible in our guide.

There are also plenty of energy grants and schemes open to help you out if you're struggling:

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  • British Gas Energy Trust Individuals and Family Fund
  • British Gas Energy Trust
  • EDF Customer Support Fund
  • E.ON and E.ON Next Grants
  • Octopus Energy Assist Fund
  • OVO Energy
  • Scottish Power Hardship Fund

There's also a one-off fuel voucher from your energy supplier if you're on a prepayment meter.

Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]

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