Winter is often used to prepare a home to go on sale in spring. Classic tips such as decluttering, mopping up unfinished DIY and optimising kerb appeal to woo buyers. This winter I’d recommend sellers to go further and actively seek an improvement in their home’s energy efficiency.
Getting an Environmental Performance Certificate (EPC) is a mandatory part of selling a home. I’m not just being an eco-warrior, important though that may be but improving your EPC might help you get the highest price for your home next spring.
New research found growing interest in EPCs among buyers: research among 2,000 consumers and 175 estate agents revealed a ‘green premium’ with purchasers spending on average 15.5 per cent more for a property with a good EPC over comparable homes with poor EPCs.
Also – with a lot of new-build homes on the market, owners of older homes face stiff competition when it comes to energy efficiency.
Research by the Home Builders Federation shows that in total, last year’s new-build purchasers are saving a total of £500m on energy bills, with new build homes emitting a third of the carbon of an older property.
If you have gone the extra mile and followed the advice offered in terms of improving efficiency of running your home. Then my suggestion would be to provide interested buyers with documents, information, or evidence as to what it actually cost to run the house. Showing interested buyers energy savings you’ve installed and documents, can put you in a good position as it often is a real comfort for potential buyers when deciding whether or not to make an offer.
5 top energy efficiency tips
So, what should would-be sellers do? We have listed 5 top tips which can help boost your home’s EPC rating. If you’re after more tips and tricks on how to improve your home’s EPC rating, than we’ve got you covered.
1. Add Wall and Floor Insulation
A third of all domestic heat-loss is because of uninsulated walls and roofs. Fill cavity walls or, if you have solid walls, these can be insulated inside or outside the home. If you have draughty gaps between floorboards, fill them – that might be a DIY job.
2. Insulate Your Loft For Energy Efficiency
This may also be a DIY task. Ensure your loft, if you have one, has at least 270mm of insulation.
3. Change Your Light Bulbs
If you haven’t done so already replace traditional and halogen lightbulbs with more eco-friendly LEDs.
4. Upgrade Your Boiler
It may cost up to £5,000 but this often can help your home sell quicker and for more. It’s only necessary if the boiler needs upgrading to an A-rated boiler with thermostatic radiator valves. And whether your boiler is old or new, lag it for extra insulation.
5. Double Glaze
If you currently have single glazing, go for A-rated double glazing.
Other energy efficiency home improvements
There are other changes you can implement over winter, typically low cost. They may not change an EPC, but they are worth your selling agent mentioning either in the energy efficiency details of your home when it goes on sale or telling prospective buyers during viewings.
1. Low-flow Shower Heads
These reduce water flow a little, saving both energy and water.
2. Reflective Radiator Panels
Placed behind radiators to reflect back heat, especially effective if the wall is external and uninsulated.
3. Upgraded Heating Controls
A programmer, room thermostats and thermostatic radiator valves allow you to be more specific on heat levels and timings.
4. Switch energy supplier
Try to find out if there’s a cheaper alternative if so make the necessary arrangements and switch energy supplier.
Energy Efficiency Financial Help
We’re all now very familiar with the government’s Energy Bills Support Scheme, applying to all domestic households, but for many benefit recipients there’s also the Energy Company Obligation scheme, under which energy suppliers are obliged to fit some energy efficiency measures in the homes of those in most need.
Just two years ago EPCs were seen as a rather dull must-have in the sales process and putting energy efficiency as a top priority was chiefly for younger consumers. Now buyers of all ages and opinions seem united, so making these changes really can boost your home’s appeal come the arrival of good weather and your property going to the market.
If you’re going down the green improvement road, be quick. Many contractors are very busy so there may be delays, especially around this time of year.
Last Updated: November 22nd, 2023