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How to improve your property's energy efficiency:

In order to assist the government in achieving its goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, the Climate Change Committee suggests that all UK dwellings achieve an EPC of band C*. With a 2030 target for privately rented homes, UK landlords should start planning ahead because, according to Savills analysts, the cost of upgrading an average D-rated property to a C will be £12,746.

Properties in the private rental sector (PRS) are among the domestic housing stock's least energy efficient. With an EPC rating of D or lower, almost 3.2 million PRS houses in England and Wales spent over £6 billion in energy bills in 2018 and generated about 11 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) in GHG emissions. In actuality, a disproportionately high percentage of fuel-poor households are part of the private rented sector (18% of privately rented homes fall under the Low Income High Cost (LIHC) metric, compared to 8% of owner-occupied homes and 9% of social housing households).

In privately rented homes, landlords who invest in energy efficiency enhancements see an increase in rental income and a decrease in vacancy periods, as well as an increase in property value, quality, and desirability. After adjusting for other criteria including property size and typology, a hedonic pricing study revealed that properties with an EPC C rating were valued about 5% more than those with an EPC D rating. This adds to the growing body of data from throughout the world demonstrating a connection between a property's energy efficiency and value. Tenants gain from higher comfort levels, improved health, and lower energy costs as a result.

So let's take a look at some of the best ways to improve the energy efficiency of our rental stock:

Change the Light Bulbs

This has to be one of the easiest starting points. According to Rightmove, you can change the light bulbs in an average property for less than £40.

An energy-saving lightbulb uses less energy while producing the same amount of light as a conventional bulb. Electricity usage for bulbs like Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) and Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) is lower than that of conventional incandescent bulbs.

Although lighting only accounts for a small portion of your home's energy use, it can have an impact on energy performance and is taken into account when determining your home's EPC.

LED lights cost more upfront than comparable conventional incandescent bulbs, but because they consume 90% less energy, they quickly pay for themselves.

Replace the boiler

Boilers lose heat through heated gas emissions so one of the best ways to improve your property's energy efficiency is to replace your old boiler with a new model.

Modern boilers are condensing meaning that heat is recovered from the combustion gases. They then use this heat to heat water, which increases the boiler's efficiency. Combi boilers are significantly more efficient than conventional or system boilers and as they do not store hot water and only heat on demand they need the least amount of space so are ideal for small apartments.

Alternatives that have low carbon emissions:
  • Solar water heaters: This option is the most eco-friendly. You fulfil your thermal needs with sunlight. The radiators utilise solar thermal panels to heat water with the sun's energy.
  • Ground source heat pumps: In this system, an underground conduit network is present. The water is heated with natural heat and made accessible to the heating system.
  • Air Source Heat Pumps: They operate similarly to ground heat pumps, but instead extract heat from the air. To improve the temperature, they need an additional compressor.
  • Electric heating systems: They operate on electricity and reduce carbon emissions, but they are quite expensive.

Double or Triple Glazing

How to improve the energy efficiency of your home in Surrey with double or triple glazingDouble-glazing has existed for a very long time, and replacing single-glazed windows with energy-efficient windows will keep it warmer and keep out the noise.
The 3 options for windows are:
  • Double glazing: The most common type of glazing consists of two panes of glass separated by a sealed air gap. Between the two glass panes is a layer of insulation created by the space.
  • Triple glazing: Identical to double glazing, with the addition of three panels of glass and two air-filled voids. Triple glazing is more effective than double glazing at insulating your windows from the elements, but it is also more expensive.
  • Secondary glazing: is more of an addition than a replacement, and is a good option for rental properties and listed buildings.


How to improve your property's energy efficiency in Surrey by InsulatingHomes with poor insulation lose about one-third of their heat through the walls.
External wall insulation is a terrific way to increase efficiency, enhance weatherproofing and soundproofing, and lessen draughts and interior dampness. An insulation layer is attached to your exterior walls and covered with cladding or plasterwork that has been specially created.

Before beginning any work, you need to check with your local council to see if planning approval is required. If the property is steel or wood-framed or if it is a prefabricated concrete building, you ought to speak with an experienced insulation specialist.

About 10% of your property's heat is lost through the ground floor, so it should be insulated if possible as well as any rooms above a garage or another unheated area.

Knowing what kind of floor you have is crucial to selecting the appropriate floor insulation. Solid floors require a layer of rigid insulation to be spread across the top of the floor. Spray foam insulation, stiff boards, or mineral wool can all be used to insulate a room with suspended flooring and thermal insulating boards can be laid underneath tiled floors.

Roof and loft insulation installation is the simplest and most cost-effective method to increase the energy efficiency of a home.

Bungalows and larger detached homes lose a significant amount of heat through the roof, and by installing approximately 270mm of loft insulation you can reduce your energy bill by around 20 percent.

Solar Panels

How to improve your property's energy efficiency in Surrey with Solar Panels
The installation of solar panels can be costly, but despite the initial outlay, it is one of the most effective ways to increase the energy efficiency of your home.

Solar panels are comprised of photovoltaic cells that convert solar energy into electricity. They function by collecting solar energy and transforming it into electricity that can power homes.

The cost of installing solar panels will range from £2,500 to £9,000 depending on your location and the number of panels you wish to install.

Larger systems have been found to generate up to 4 kWp, which is sufficient to power a family of three or four. A solar installation will offer an average return of 5% over its 25-year duration.

Draught proofing

How to improve your property's energy efficiency in Surrey with Draught ProofingTo draught-proof your home, you should block up unwanted gaps that let cold air in and warm air out. There are a number of simple draught-proofing jobs you can do yourself with a few items from the local hardware store such as:
  • Sealing around doors with sealant strips
  • repairing gaps in the plaster
  • buying a draught excluder
  • buying keyhole draught excluders
  • installing a letterbox cover
Air must enter and exit your home for it to remain fresh, dry, and healthy. Ensure that you do not seal or block any intentional ventilation, including:
  • Extractor fans – these remove moist air rapidly from rooms (such as kitchens, bathrooms, and utility rooms) where a lot of moisture is produced.
  • Underfloor grilles or airbricks help maintain the dryness of wooden joists and floors.
  • Wall vents allow a small quantity of fresh air into a room.
  • Trickle vents – contemporary windows typically have tiny vents above them to allow fresh air to enter in a trickle.

Energy Performance Certificates

Rental properties require a 10-year certificate for all tenancies that started on or after 1st October 2008 as a result of the European Union Directive 2002/91/EC on the energy performance of buildings. This was implemented into British law by the Housing Act 2004 and The Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007 (S.I. 2007/991).

EPCs are performed by Home Inspectors (HIs) or Domestic Energy Assessors (DEAs), who are audited by their accreditation bodies to ensure that standards are maintained.

They visit the property and inspect important components such as cavity walls, floor, and loft insulation, domestic furnace, hot water tank, radiators, heating controls, double-glazed windows, etc. The calculation of energy efficiency is then performed by a software program, which provides a single number for the rating of energy efficiency and a suggested value for the potential for improvement. Similar statistics exist for environmental impact.

Band A represents the most energy-efficient homes, which should have the lowest fuel costs. Homes with higher ratings should produce less carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

Download our Guide HERE

* July 2023: Michael Gove, Housing Minister, has admitted that the proposed EPC changes are too soon and already stretched Landlords can not really afford them.
Watch this space for a complete rethink prior to the next main election in presumably 2024.