Statistically speaking, the stretch of time from spring into early summer is the best time to sell a home in the UK, as sales happen faster and for higher prices.
The concept of cutting carbon footprints is now a concern that’s embedded firmly in the consumer psyche. That means things like locally produced food, fewer air miles, and more efficient cars, all of which adds up to a huge shift in the buying habits of millions.
House hunters are looking for things like this. They want rainwater harvesting, ground source heat pumps, solar panels, and double and even triple glazing. If your home has any or all of these, then it seriously tilts things in your favour.
Government research backs this up. There are official figures that indicate that increasing the EPC, or Energy Performance Certificate, of your home can make it more likely to sell. If you go from a Band D up to a Band B, then you might add £16,000 to your home.
What Exactly Is an EPC?
An EPC or Energy Performance Certificate rates your home’s energy performance from A through G. It’s mandated by law when you sell your home. The intention behind it is to give prospective buyers some indication of how well it is going to perform, the running costs, and what they need to in order to upgrade it.
It’s also worth noting that EPCs aren’t important only to homeowners, as landlords find them crucial too. New legislation that came into force starting in April of 2018 made it illegal for anyone to rent out a property that had an F or G rating.
How Can I Make My Home’s EPC Better?
Giving prospective buyers some indication of the possible running costs or the potential cost of some home improvements should be a good thing. However, EPCs have come in for some criticism given what particular home improvements they emphasise. For instance, ceramic radiators, air-source or ground heat pumps and solar panels can cut down carbon footprint, but the majority of UK post-war homes lost most of their heat through windows, walls, and roofs, which means that reducing heat loss through insulation is a more prominent move to make.
Can New Energy Efficient Double Glazing Enhance My Home’s EPC?
The Energy Saving Trust says that after energy-leaking walls and roof spaces, it is windows that account for about 20% of all the heat that’s lost out of your home. This means that if you have yet to do this, replacing your windows could pay you back some serious long-term dividends whether or not you move out, while simultaneously creating a substantial reduction in your home’s carbon footprint.
Given this, the kind of windows your home has is going to be listed as one of the key indicators in your EPC, which includes a star rating that ranks them from 1 star up to 5 stars; single or partial double glazing will score 1 or 2 stars whereas the newer energy efficient double glazings or even triple glazed windows can score up to the max 5 stars.
As an indicator, an upgrade from single up to double or even triple-glazed windows might save you as much as £160 per year for the typical three-bedroom detached home, which is a substantial draw for any potential home buyer.
If should also be worth noting that when your home isn’t energy efficient, then the possible savings, as well as the cost of upgrades and installations, are also going to be listed within your EPC. This is clear ammunition for any potential buyer that’s looking to shave some money off of your asking price.
Home energy efficiency is growing increasingly important. It is a major factor for many consumers considering the series of recent price hikes in 2017 by the big six suppliers, as well as the cold snaps that happened early in 2018. For example, trade body Energy UK claims that as many as 660,000 consumers changed their energy supplier in February 2018 alone.
Should You Withdraw From a Home Purchase If Its EPC Is Bad?
This is a conundrum that every potential home buyer has to eventually face, given how there’s a trade-off between energy efficiency and highly popular period features. It’s not that subjective whether or not that stops you, but we would maintain that even in a property with hard-to-treat period features that have solid walls, it’s possible for new windows to do quite a bit, meaning there’s still much you can do to enhance energy efficiency.