Worried about your day to day costs? RetroPlanner will help you identify the home improvement measures that are likely to have the greatest impact on your energy consumption.
Insulating your loft is one of the cheapest and quickest ways of saving energy. RetroPlanner also provides estimates for insulating walls, floors and roofs
Its estimated 30% of heat is lost through poorly glazed windows. This includes single glazed and in some cases windows double glazed before 2002.
If your home feels more uncomfortable on a windy day then it probably needs draught-proofing. Up to 25% of heat can be lost to air leakage.
Lower bills with energy-saving home improvements.
Achieve consistent temperatures through retrofit enhancements.
Less condensation means a healthier living environment.
Prepare home for efficient heat pump operation using lowest capacity system.
Experience warmth and comfort on windy days.
Small changes can have a big impact on reducing emissions.
Poor insulation: Insufficient or inadequate insulation in walls, roofs, floors, and windows can result in significant heat loss.
Air leakage: Unsealed cracks, gaps, and poorly fitted doors and windows can allow warm air to escape and cold air to enter, leading to heat loss.
Inefficient windows: Single-pane windows or those with poor thermal performance can contribute to heat loss, as they are less effective at retaining heat compared to double or triple-glazed windows.
Lack of weatherstripping: Inadequate weatherstripping around doors and windows allows air to infiltrate, leading to heat loss.
Conductive materials: Certain construction methods such as solid walls can conduct heat more easily, resulting in thermal bridging and heat loss.
Open chimneys or flues: Fireplaces or heating systems with open chimneys or flues can act as conduits for heat to escape when not in use.
Addressing these issues through proper insulation, sealing air leaks, upgrading windows, installing weatherstripping, and improving ventilation can help minimise heat loss and improve energy efficiency in a home.
When looking for cost-effective ways to make a property more energy efficient, consider the following options:
Energy-efficient lighting: Replace traditional incandescent bulbs with energy-saving LED. They are more durable, consume less electricity, and have a longer lifespan.
Seal air leaks: Use weatherstripping and caulking to seal gaps around windows, doors, and other areas where air can escape or enter. This helps prevent drafts and reduces heating and cooling costs.
Insulate the attic: Adding insulation to the attic helps to prevent heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer. Insulation materials like fibreglass can be relatively affordable and improve energy efficiency.
Install programmable thermostats: Programmable thermostats allow you to schedule temperature adjustments based on your needs. This helps optimise energy usage by reducing heating or cooling when you’re away or asleep.
Use energy-efficient appliances: When replacing old appliances, choose models with high energy efficiency ratings. EU Energy Label appliances with an A rating consume less electricity and can save you money in the long run.
Upgrade to low-flow fixtures: Install low-flow showerheads to reduce water consumption. They maintain good water pressure while conserving water and reducing water heating costs.
Adjust water heater settings: Lowering the temperature setting on your water heater to 50°C can save energy without sacrificing comfort. Insulating the water heater and hot water pipes can also minimise heat loss.
Maintain heating systems: Regularly maintain heating systems to ensure efficient operation. Proper maintenance helps optimise energy use and prolong equipment lifespan.
Unplug or use power strips: When electronics and appliances are not in use, unplug them or use power strips with an on/off switch. This prevents energy consumption from standby loads.
By implementing these measures, you can make your property more energy efficient without breaking the bank. Remember that energy-saving practices, such as turning off lights when not needed and conserving water, are also effective and cost-free ways to reduce energy consumption.
The recommended depth for loft insulation is typically 270mm. This thickness is considered the optimal level of insulation for most homes and helps to achieve the desired thermal efficiency. It is important to note that this recommendation may vary depending on the specific insulation material being used. However, 270mm is a commonly recommended depth for mineral wool or fibreglass insulation, which are commonly used in loft spaces.
To determine if your walls have been insulated, you can follow these steps:
Check the age of your property: If your property was built after the 1990s, it is more likely to have cavity wall insulation. Homes constructed before the 1990s may have solid walls or uninsulated cavity walls.
Look for wall markings or drill holes: In some cases, small holes or markings may be visible on the exterior walls, indicating that insulation has been installed. These holes are typically made during the insulation installation process and are then filled afterward.
Consult property records: If you have access to property records, they may provide information on insulation installations or any renovation work done on the walls.
Arrange a professional survey: Consider getting a professional energy survey. These assessments can provide detailed information about the energy efficiency of your property, including insulation levels.
It’s worth noting that solid walls can be insulated internally or externally using different methods. If you suspect that your walls are solid and uninsulated, it is recommended to seek professional advice to explore insulation options suitable for your property type.
To determine if your walls are solid or cavity walls, you can try the following methods:
Check the age of your property: Typically, homes built before the 1930s in the UK are more likely to have solid walls, while those built after the 1930s may have cavity walls. However, this is a general guideline, and there can be variations.
Examine the external brick pattern: Look at the external brickwork of your property. If the bricks are laid in a single layer, it is likely that you have solid walls. Cavity walls typically have two layers of bricks with a visible gap between them.
Measure the wall thickness: Measure the thickness of a wall from an internal window or door reveal using a tape measure. Solid walls are typically thinner than cavity walls, with a thickness of around 220mm (9 inches) or more. However properties with stone walls may be thicker. Cavity walls are usually around 300mm (12 inches).
Tap the walls: Tap the walls with your knuckles. Solid walls produce a dull, solid sound, while uninsulated cavity walls tend to produce a hollow or echo-like sound due to the air gap between the layers.
Seek professional advice: If you’re still unsure, Consider getting a professional energy survey.
It’s important to note that some properties may have a combination of solid and cavity walls, depending on the construction style and any subsequent renovations.
To determine if your floor has insulation, you can try the following methods:
Access points: Identify any accessible areas that allow you to see underneath the floor, such as crawl spaces or basement areas. If you can access these areas, inspect them to see if there is any insulation present.
Floor vents: If your property has floor vents, remove the vent cover and use a flashlight to check if insulation material is visible underneath the floor through the vent openings.
Temperature differences: Walk barefoot or touch the floor surface in different areas of your home. If you notice significant temperature differences or cold spots, it could indicate a lack of insulation.
Contact a professional: Consider consulting a qualified energy assessor. They can inspect your property and determine if floor insulation is present by conducting a thorough assessment.
Check property documentation: If you have access to property records, such as building plans or renovation documentation, they may provide information on whether floor insulation was installed.
It’s important to note that not all properties have floor insulation, especially in older homes. Adding insulation to the floor can help improve energy efficiency and comfort, so if you find that your floor is uninsulated, you may consider installing insulation to reap the benefits.
As a homeowner or a landlord this pathway will help you identify the energy efficiency measures most likely to have the greatest impact on your EPC rating.
Your EPC rating is impacted by the amount of energy used per square metre and the level of carbon dioxide emissions. Solar PV is one way of improving an EPC.
Its estimated 30% of heat is lost through poorly glazed windows. This includes single glazed and in some cases windows double glazed before 2002.
With good insulation underfloor heating systems operate at a lower temperature. They consume less energy making them a good choice for improving an EPC.
Prepare yourself for the new property rental regulations.
A better EPC may improve the value of your property.
Lower energy bills makes a property more appealing.
Lower bills with energy-saving home improvements.
Make sure your property is attractive to landlords.
Some lenders are offering lower interest rates the better an EPC.
Several measures can have a significant impact on your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating. Here are some measures that are likely to make a notable difference:
Insulation improvements: Enhancing insulation in your property can have a significant impact on energy efficiency. Focus on insulating the roof/loft, walls (if applicable), and floors to reduce heat loss and improve the EPC rating.
Upgrading heating systems: Installing a more efficient heating system, such as a condensing boiler or underfloor heating can greatly improve your EPC rating.
Window upgrades: Replacing single-glazed windows with double or triple-glazed ones can enhance insulation, reduce heat loss, and improve the EPC rating. Ensure proper sealing and insulation around windows as well.
Efficient lighting: Switching to energy-efficient lighting, such as LED bulbs, can have a positive impact. They consume less electricity, have a longer lifespan, and contribute to energy savings.
Renewable energy sources: Installing renewable energy systems like solar panels or wind turbines can significantly reduce reliance on conventional energy sources and improve the EPC rating.
It’s worth noting that the specific impact of these measures on your EPC rating will depend on various factors, including the current state of your property and the extent of the improvements made. Consulting an energy assessor or professional in energy efficiency can provide tailored advice on the most effective measures for your specific situation.
Improving your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating can have a positive impact on the value of your property. While the EPC rating itself does not directly determine the value, it can influence the perceived value by potential buyers or tenants. Here are a few reasons why an improved EPC rating can contribute to an increase in property value:
Energy efficiency appeal: A higher EPC rating indicates that the property is more energy-efficient, which can be an attractive feature for buyers or tenants. Energy-efficient homes are often associated with reduced energy costs, improved comfort, and a smaller environmental footprint, making them desirable in the market.
Reduced running costs: A more energy-efficient property typically requires less energy for heating, cooling, and electricity. This translates into lower energy bills for the occupants. Prospective buyers or tenants may be willing to pay a premium for a property that offers long-term savings on energy expenses.
Compliance with regulations: In some regions, there are legal requirements or incentives for properties to meet certain energy efficiency standards. Having an improved EPC rating ensures compliance with these regulations, which can enhance the marketability and value of the property.
Long-term investment: Energy efficiency improvements can be seen as long-term investments. Buyers or tenants may be willing to pay more for a property that already has energy-saving measures in place, as it saves them the effort and cost of implementing these improvements themselves.
Market demand and perception: As environmental consciousness and energy efficiency awareness continue to grow, the demand for energy-efficient properties is increasing. An improved EPC rating aligns with this market trend and can attract a larger pool of potential buyers or tenants, potentially leading to a higher property value.
It’s important to note that the specific impact on property value will depend on various factors, including the local housing market, the overall condition of the property, and other market factors. Consulting with a real estate professional or valuer who has knowledge of the local market can provide more specific insights into how an improved EPC rating may affect your property’s value.
Regulations regarding the improvement of Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ratings can vary depending on the region. Here are some general regulations that may apply:
Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES): In the UK, the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards regulations apply to privately rented properties. As of April 2018, properties must have a minimum EPC rating of E or higher for new tenancies or renewals. This requirement will extend to all existing tenancies from April 2023.
Building regulations: When undertaking significant renovations or building new properties, building regulations often require compliance with specific energy efficiency standards. This may include requirements for insulation, heating systems, lighting, and ventilation.
It’s important to note that regulations and requirements can change over time, and they may vary depending on your specific location. It is recommended to consult with local authorities, energy assessors, or professionals in your region to obtain up-to-date information on the specific regulations and requirements that apply to improving the EPC rating of your property.
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating is calculated based on the energy efficiency of a property. The calculation takes into account various factors related to the building’s construction, insulation, heating systems, and energy usage. Here’s a general overview of how an EPC rating is calculated:
Energy assessment: A qualified energy assessor conducts an on-site assessment of the property. They gather information about the building’s construction, dimensions, insulation, heating systems, lighting, and other relevant features. They also gather information on renewable energy sources, if applicable.
Software-based calculation: Using government approved software, the energy assessor enters the collected data to calculate the property’s energy performance. The software uses a standardised methodology to generate the EPC rating.
Energy efficiency indicators: The software calculates various energy efficiency indicators, such as the building’s estimated energy consumption, carbon emissions, and cost of heating and lighting.
EPC rating scale: The EPC rating is expressed on a scale of A to G, with A being the most energy-efficient and G being the least efficient. The rating indicates the property’s overall energy performance and carbon footprint.
Recommendations: The energy assessor provides recommendations on how to improve the property’s energy efficiency and raise its EPC rating. These recommendations may include insulation upgrades, heating system improvements, or the use of renewable energy sources.
It’s important to note that EPC calculations may have specific variations and requirements depending on the region. The exact details of the calculation methodology can differ, but the overall goal is to assess and rate the energy efficiency of the property. Consulting with a qualified energy assessor or local authorities can provide more specific information on the calculation process in your area.
Yes, an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating can be made worse in certain situations. Here are a few scenarios where the EPC rating of a property may be negatively affected:
Removal of energy-efficient features: If energy-efficient features, such as insulation, double-glazed windows, or efficient heating systems, are removed or replaced with less efficient alternatives, it can lead to a lower EPC rating.
Deterioration of building components: Over time, building components like insulation materials, windows, or heating systems may deteriorate, reducing their effectiveness. This can result in a lower EPC rating if the energy performance of the property is negatively affected.
Changes in regulations or calculation methodology: If there are updates to the regulations or calculation methodology used for EPC ratings, it is possible for properties to be reassessed under the new guidelines and receive a lower rating compared to previous assessments.
Increased energy consumption: If the energy consumption of the property increases due to changes in occupancy, usage patterns, or inefficient energy practices, it can result in a lower EPC rating.
Inaccurate or incomplete data: If inaccurate or incomplete data is provided during the EPC assessment, it can lead to an incorrect rating that may not reflect the true energy efficiency of the property.
It’s important to note that any changes that negatively impact the energy performance of a property can potentially result in a lower EPC rating. Therefore, it’s crucial to consider the potential impact on the EPC rating when making alterations or modifications to a property.
Technology developments march on and there is an array of new opportunities for improving comfort and reducing energy consumption. Model the cost benefits from installing solar PV, batteries or heat pumps.
A heat pump can produce three times more heat for the same amount of energy purchased. And many users say their home is warmer and less prone to damp.
Solar PV is one of the most popular new technologies to be installed by homeowners. It reduces energy bills, lowers emissions and improves an EPC score.
As the energy system modernises the addition of smart controls and storage creates new opportunities for lowering your energy bill by using flexible tariffs.
Less grid supplied energy means lower utility bills.
Battery storage can be used to keep essential equipment running.
Net Zero legislation is about removing carbon from our homes.
Energy companies are offering incentives to flexible energy users.
The right smart controls can help you lower your energy bill.
Removing pollution from the air we breathe is good for our health.
Old boilers can come with several hidden costs that may not be immediately apparent. Here are some potential hidden costs associated with an old boiler:
Higher energy bills: Older boilers are generally less energy-efficient compared to modern, high-efficiency models. They may have lower efficiency ratings and lose more heat during operation, leading to increased energy consumption and higher energy bills.
Increased repair and maintenance costs: As boilers age, they are more prone to breakdowns and require more frequent repairs. The availability of spare parts for older models may also be limited, making repairs more expensive. Regular maintenance and servicing costs can also add up over time.
Reduced reliability: Older boilers may be less reliable, leading to unexpected breakdowns and the inconvenience of being without heating or hot water. Emergency repairs or the need for temporary heating alternatives can result in additional costs.
Safety concerns: Old boilers may not meet the latest safety standards, potentially posing risks such as carbon monoxide leaks. Ensuring the safety of an old boiler may require additional inspections, maintenance, or even replacement for compliance with current safety regulations.
Limited warranty coverage: Manufacturers often provide limited warranties for new boilers, offering protection against potential defects or malfunctions. With older boilers, warranty coverage may have expired or may not be transferable to a new owner, leaving you responsible for repair or replacement costs.
Lower property value: An outdated boiler can negatively impact the value of a property when it comes to selling or renting. Potential buyers or tenants may view an old boiler as a potential expense they need to address, affecting their perception of the property’s value.
Environmental impact: Older boilers tend to have higher carbon emissions and contribute more to environmental pollution. In regions with carbon pricing or environmental regulations, there may be additional costs or penalties associated with operating an inefficient and high-emission boiler.
Considering these hidden costs, it’s often advisable to assess the condition and efficiency of an old boiler.
Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems offer several benefits, including:
Renewable and clean energy: Solar PV systems generate electricity from sunlight, a renewable and abundant energy source. By utilising solar power, you reduce dependence on fossil fuels, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and contribute to a cleaner environment.
Cost savings on electricity bills: Solar PV systems can significantly reduce or eliminate your electricity bills. By generating your own electricity, you can offset the energy consumption from the grid, resulting in long-term cost savings on your electricity expenses.
Energy independence: Solar PV systems empower homeowners and businesses to generate their own electricity. This energy independence reduces reliance on the grid and provides greater control over energy production and consumption.
Long-term investment: Installing solar PV panels can be viewed as a long-term investment. They have a lifespan of 25 years or more, and the cost of solar panels has significantly decreased in recent years. As energy prices continue to rise, the investment in solar PV can provide a stable and predictable source of electricity.
Environmental benefits: Solar PV systems produce clean electricity without emitting greenhouse gases or other pollutants. By utilising solar power, you contribute to the reduction of air pollution, mitigating climate change, and preserving natural resources.
It’s important to note that the benefits of solar PV systems can vary depending on factors such as location, system size, available sunlight, energy consumption, and local regulations. Conducting a thorough assessment can help determine the specific benefits and feasibility of solar PV for your property.
Smart heating controls can make a significant difference in terms of energy efficiency, comfort, and convenience. Here are some ways in which smart heating controls can have a positive impact:
Increased energy efficiency: Smart heating controls allow for precise temperature control and scheduling, enabling you to optimise heating patterns according to your needs. You can set specific temperatures for different times of the day or control heating in individual rooms. This level of control helps reduce energy waste by only heating the areas and times that are necessary.
Energy-saving features: Smart heating controls often include energy-saving features such as occupancy detection, adaptive learning, and geolocation. These features automatically adjust heating settings based on room occupancy or your daily routine, ensuring that energy is not wasted on heating unoccupied spaces.
Remote access and monitoring: With smart heating controls, you can remotely control and monitor your heating system using a smartphone or other connected devices. This allows you to adjust temperature settings even when you’re away from home, ensuring comfort upon your return while avoiding unnecessary heating when you’re not there.
Integration with other smart devices: Smart heating controls can be integrated with other smart devices in your home, such as smart thermostats, voice assistants, or home automation systems. This integration enables seamless control and coordination of various aspects of your home’s energy management, enhancing convenience and energy efficiency.
Insights and data analytics: Smart heating controls often provide insights and data analytics on energy usage, heating patterns, and temperature settings. These insights help you understand your energy consumption patterns and identify opportunities for further energy savings.
Improved comfort and convenience: Smart heating controls offer personalised comfort by allowing you to adjust temperatures according to your preferences. You can set different heating schedules for different rooms or create customised heating zones to ensure optimal comfort throughout your home.
Potential cost savings: By optimising energy usage and reducing wasted heat, smart heating controls can lead to cost savings on your energy bills. The ability to monitor and manage energy consumption more effectively helps identify areas where adjustments can be made to achieve greater efficiency and savings.
It’s important to choose smart heating controls that are compatible with your heating system and meet your specific needs.
Installing energy storage systems, such as batteries, can make sense in various situations. Here are a few scenarios where it may be beneficial to consider installing energy storage:
Solar PV system owners: If you have a solar photovoltaic (PV) system installed on your property, energy storage can complement it effectively. It allows you to store excess solar energy generated during the day for use during times of low or no sunlight, such as evenings or cloudy days. This maximises the self-consumption of solar energy and reduces reliance on the grid, potentially leading to increased energy independence and savings on electricity bills.
Time-of-use electricity tariffs: Some utility providers offer time-of-use (TOU) electricity tariffs, where electricity prices vary based on the time of day. Energy storage systems can be programmed to charge during low-price periods and discharge during high-price periods. By shifting your electricity consumption to cheaper periods, you can potentially save money on your energy bills.
Off-grid or unreliable grid areas: If you live in an area with unreliable or limited access to the grid, energy storage can provide a reliable and continuous power supply. It allows you to store excess energy when available and use it during periods of grid outage or when grid power is not available. This can be particularly beneficial for remote locations or areas prone to frequent power outages.
Peak demand management: Energy storage can help manage peak demand periods when electricity usage is at its highest. By discharging stored energy during these peak demand periods, you can reduce the strain on the grid, potentially avoiding peak demand charges from utility providers.
Backup power: Energy storage systems can serve as a backup power source in case of emergencies or power outages. They provide a reliable and independent source of electricity, ensuring that critical loads or essential equipment can still operate during such situations.
Grid services and revenue generation: In some regions, energy storage systems can participate in grid services and provide ancillary services to the electrical grid. This can include services like frequency regulation, load shifting, or grid stabilisation. By participating in these programs, you may be eligible to receive financial incentives or generate revenue from your energy storage system.
It’s important to assess your specific energy needs, the availability of incentives or favourable electricity tariffs, and the cost-effectiveness of energy storage systems in your region. Consulting with energy professionals or system integrators can help determine if and when it makes sense to install energy storage based on your unique circumstances.
Heat pumps are generally more efficient compared to traditional heating systems. Here’s why:
Energy source: Heat pumps extract heat from the air, ground, or water, depending on the type of heat pump (air source, ground source, or water source). Instead of generating heat by burning fuel like furnaces or boilers, heat pumps transfer existing heat from the environment, making them inherently more energy-efficient.
Coefficient of Performance (COP): The efficiency of a heat pump is measured by its Coefficient of Performance (COP), which represents the ratio of heat output to the amount of electrical energy input. Heat pumps typically have COP values greater than 2.8, meaning they provide more heat energy output than the electrical energy they consume.
Renewable energy compatibility: Heat pumps can be combined with renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, to further enhance their efficiency and sustainability. By utilising renewable electricity to power the heat pump, the overall carbon footprint and environmental impact can be reduced.
Dual functionality: Many heat pumps offer both heating and cooling capabilities, making them versatile throughout the year. They can provide efficient heating in winter and reverse the process to cool your home during the summer months, eliminating the need for separate heating and cooling systems.
Energy consumption savings: Heat pumps can deliver significant energy consumption savings compared to conventional heating systems. Since they transfer heat rather than generating it, they can achieve higher efficiency levels resulting in lower utility bills over time.
It’s important to note that the efficiency of a heat pump can be influenced by factors such as installation quality, system sizing, climate conditions, heating controls, and regular maintenance. Consulting with a qualified professional can help determine the most suitable type and size of heat pump for your specific needs and maximise its efficiency in your particular location.
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