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Blog Post 12 July 2022 Updated 15 May 2024

How to improve your EPC rating

If you’re looking to make energy efficient improvements to your home, a great place to start is your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

Your EPC tells you how energy efficient your home is, giving it a rating from A (very efficient) to G (inefficient). The report also gives recommendations on how to improve your EPC rating, for example, from E to C. 

Here we look at the top EPC recommendations to help you understand how much you could save on your energy bills. 

Why should I improve the EPC rating of my home?

The more energy efficient a home is, the less it will cost to heat and light. Also, energy efficient homes have lower carbon emissions, so it’s good for your budget and for the planet.  

Some of the recommendations on the EPC need a little bit of investment and require you to be a homeowner. Take a look at what financial support is available for improving your home’s energy efficiency

But even if you rent, you could still make some of the recommended improvements, such as switching to more energy efficient light bulbs. 


Top 9 ways to improve your EPC 

The actions your EPC is likely to recommend will help your home lose less heat, make your heating system work more efficiently, and use less electricity. 

Unless stated otherwise, the following property types are used for savings figures: 

For GB properties, savings are based on a typical three bedroom semi-detached gas heated home, using an average gas price of 7.4p/kWh and an average electricity price of 28.6p/kWh. Correct as of January 2024.  

For NI properties, savings are based on a typical three bedroom semi-detached oil heated home, using an average gas price of 7.3p/kWh and an average electricity price of 36.3p/kWh. Correct as of October 2023. 

The 9 most common recommendations on the EPC are: 

  • Switch your lighting to LED 
  • Insulate your hot water cylinder 
  • Install heating controls 
  • Replace boiler with a new condensing boiler 
  • Replace single glazed windows with double glazing 
  • Install or upgrade your loft insulation 
  • Insulate your floor 
  • Install wall insulation 
  • Install solar panels 

Switch your lighting to LED

While this isn’t likely to make a huge difference to your EPC rating, it’s by far the easiest and least expensive to do. 

If you swapped your halogen lightbulbs with energy efficient LED lights, it would cost around £80 and should save £40 a year (£75 in NI). 

Insulate your hot water cylinder

A hot water cylinder jacket costs about £20, and it should be easy to install –  just follow the manufacturer’s instructions. 

If you already have a jacket fitted around your tank, check the thickness. It should be at least 80mm thick – if it isn’t, consider buying a new one.

Topping up your insulation from 25mm to 80mm, using a British Standard jacket, could save you around £40 a year (£45 in NI).

Install heating controls

Installing and using heating controls effectively requires a bit more investment, but could save you money in the long-term. 

If you already have a thermostat, try turning it down by just one degree (for example, from 22 to 21 degrees) to save around £85 a year (£105 in NI). If you don’t have any heating controls, installing and using a full set can result in significant savings. 

Typical heating controls include: 

  • A programmer 
  • A room thermostat 
  • Thermostatic radiator valves for all radiators 

While you’ll have to pay around £860 for the full installation, you’ll save £105 each year (£135 in NI) in an average semi-detached house.  

Replace boiler with a new condensing boiler

If you’ve moved into an older home, your boiler might need upgrading. The costs for replacing an old inefficient boiler will vary, but an A-rated condensing gas boiler replacement plus a full set of heating controls will typically cost about £3,900. 

But there are potentially significant savings to be made. Upgrading from a G-rated gas boiler with no controls to an A-rated boiler with all heating controls saves you £465 a year (£590 in NI). Given that the average lifespan of a boiler is 10-15 years, you’ll have paid back your investment with plenty of time to enjoy your savings. 

Replace single glazed windows with double glazing

Around 18% of your home’s heat is lost through your windows. Double glazing is the most popular option to stop this, though costs vary depending on the materials and style. PVC windows tend to be cheaper, while hardwood frames are the most expensive. 

Installing A-rated double glazing to windows in an entirely single-glazed, semi-detached, gas heated property, should save £135 a year (£175 in NI). 

Man installing thermal roof insulation layer - using mineral wool panels. Attic renovation and insulation concept

Install or upgrade your loft insulation

Unless you live in a mid or ground-floor flat, around 26% of your home’s heat will escape through the roof. While most homes have at least some loft insulation, often it’s not enough. 

Topping up from 120mm to at least 270mm of insulation will help – and it’ll save you around £20 each year on your bills (£25 in NI). If your loft is easy to access and has no damp or condensation problems, it should be easy to insulate. In many cases, it’s possible to do it yourself. 

Insulate your floor

Insulating under your floorboards could save you around £70 a year in a semi-detached property (£85 in NI), or up to £110 if you live in a detached house (£145 in NI). 

If you’re looking for a quick fix, you can seal the gaps between floors and skirting boards to help draught proof your home yourself, using a tube of sealant from any DIY store. 

Install wall insulation

One of the most common recommendations on an EPC is to install wall insulation. Around a third of all the heat lost in an uninsulated home escapes through the walls, so it’s worth thinking about. Though adding wall insulation can give you the greatest savings, it’s also one of the more expensive recommendations on the EPC. 

Most homes in the UK have cavity walls, and you can fill the gap with insulation. We estimate that insulating your cavity walls could save you around £235 a year (£300 in NI) on your energy bills. 

If you have solid walls, these can be insulated from the inside or outside of your home. While costs and savings vary, we estimate a semi-detached house could save around £315 a year (£405 in NI) after installing solid wall insulation. 

Install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels

If your budget for EPC improvements stretches to some bigger home renovation ideas, consider installing solar panels. These are the most common domestic renewable energy source in the UK. A once you’ve paid for installation, your energy costs will be significantly reduced. 

We estimate solar panels cost around £7,000 to install – but you’ll see savings of around £345 a year*.  

What’s more, you’ll cut your household carbon emissions by an impressive 730kg of carbon dioxide a year. 

*Savings based on a household in North England, home all day and includes export payments. Based on a Smart Export Guarantee tariff of 5.5p/kWh. 

Last updated: 15 May 2024