When it comes to achieving the highest rating on an EPC Survey, renewable technologies are crucial: some forms can radically increase a rating. Renewable technologies include solar PV, solar thermal, wind, biomass and heat pumps. It’s good to consider which ones will most help your ratings- and to what degree.
Solar PV (photovoltaic) is one of the most popular and well-known renewable technologies for properties. Commonly known as ‘solar panels,’ this type of technology is seen across many UK houses: they significantly reduce costs when it comes to electricity saving. Often, installing solar panels boosts an EPC by a whole rating (if not more,) but it does depend on the size of the system. An additional benefit is that you can use precise figures, taken from the PV system, to be exact in the EPC input.
Similarly, solar thermal heating can be input into EPC software, although solar thermal does have less of a weighting on the EPC outcome (usually.) However, it will make a couple of points’ difference so is worth doing.
Heat pumps and biomass may also help improve an EPC rating. Typically, however, they will only improve ratings in properties that are off the gas grid. This is because gas heating is the cheapest way to heat. Similarly, biomass is more pricey than gas but less than oil or LPG so it is more commonly use in rural areas.
Much more unusually seen in domestic settings are wind turbines, but this type of renewable energy can dramatically enhance an EPC rating, where larger turbine installation is possible. The rating for these depends on a couple of factors: how big the turbine is and how many you have. Also, your turbine rating will improve if you are in a rural setting, rather than suburban, because there will be less interference and higher wind speed in those areas.
For the largest improvements in an EPC rating with renewable technology, a turbine with a span of 4-5m will make the impact. It is, of course, only a small proportion of domestic properties where it is plausible to install a wind turbine of this size.
Whilst not necessarily under the umbrella of renewable technologies, there are many other practical methods of making a house more ‘green.’ This, in turn, supports better EPCs. Good insulation is one of the top ways to increase an EPC rating as it preserves more energy usage. Well insulated properties require less demand on heating systems, therefore cutting costs on expensive heating. In the home, you can also take the burden off of energy bills by purchasing energy efficient appliances, which will be indicated by multi-coloured stickers. Larger appliances will have higher energy use levels, so where possible, consider using one that is suitable for need and not excess.
Ratings will increase because of a variety of factors and renewable technologies play a part in this. Combining solar and wind power, however, would be the ideal solution for drastic ratings increase. You will need more than just renewable technologies installed, though, to gain the very highest EPC ratings.