Soaring gas and electricity bills have intensified the cost of living crisis, with inflation hitting its highest level in more than 40 years. In the current economic climate, where energy prices are as high as they are, saving money on bills is hugely important to the British public. Understandably then, more than four in ten of Peter Cox’s surveyors1 have seen an increase in the number of customers asking about insulation in the last three months, which is likely due to the rise in energy bills.
Loft insulation is a simple and effective way to stop heat escaping from your property and reduce your heating bills. Furthermore, loft insulation can increase the value of a property and also simplify the sales process by improving the EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating of the building. Yet surprisingly, over 40 per cent of our surveyors2 have said they visit properties each week that have no insulation.
This blog will explain what an EPC rating is, the benefits of loft insulation, how Peter Cox can help install it in your home, and other methods that people can explore to lower their EPC rating and save on their energy bills.
What is an EPC rating?
When a home is sold or rented in the UK, it must have an EPC rating. This legal requirement measures the property’s energy efficiency and tells the owner how much they can expect to pay for utility bills.
After carrying out a brief survey of the property, the EPC assessor will place the house on a colour-coded scale from A to G – A being the most efficient band with the cheapest fuel bills and G the least efficient. Once issued, an EPC rating is valid for 10 years.
When buying, selling or renting your property, an EPC rating is key as it gives you an idea of how much energy bills will cost; the carbon emissions that the property emits; and ultimately, provides recommendations as to what you can do to improve its energy efficiency.
The benefits of loft insulation
Loft insulation is material that reduces the rate at which heat is lost from your property through the loft space. In most homes, this typically involves rolls of insulation being laid over the ceiling joists.
The more heat you keep in your property, the less energy you use, which means burning less fuel. The vast majority (85%) of our surveyors visit properties each week that on average have insulation below the 270mm standard. An uninsulated loft in a detached home – once insulated with a material of 270mm thickness – could save 1,310kg CO2 per year.
Alongside keeping heat in your house, another way to save money is through using less fuel. It is also estimated that an insulated loft could save you up to £380 in energy bill savings per year, at November 2021 prices, and with the cost of living set to rise even further, these savings could increase.
If your loft is easily accessible, and has no damp or condensation problems, then a professional can install loft insulation straightforwardly. If you are experiencing damp or timber problems, such as woodworm, Peter Cox can also advise and assist you in finding a solution prior to installing loft insulation.
When carrying out recommended damp or timber treatments as an added-on service, one of our experts can lay new insulation in most standard roof areas in the majority of domestic properties, and can also top-up insulation over the existing areas to the advised 270mm. If existing insulation is already in place but needs topping up, Peter Cox can install the new insulation at right angles over the existing layer, taking care to not block any existing intentional ventilation, such as vents, grilles or airbricks.
Loft insulation is not the only solution available to homeowners. Other ways to improve your EPC include:
- Double glazing – upgrading your windows and doors will not just improve your home’s energy performance, it can reduce noise too. Triple glazing is becoming more mainstream and will further reduce the amount of heat that escapes through your windows. However, if you already have double glazing, you will gain only a minimal improvement to your EPC rating by upgrading to triple glazing.
- LED bulbs – replacing your old traditional incandescent bulbs with halogen bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps or LED bulbs is a quick and easy way to improve your property’s energy efficiency.
- Draft proofing – draft proofing is a relatively easy way of helping to save energy that can often be achieved through DIY solutions. You should block any gaps that are letting cold air in and warm air out of your property. For example, for windows that open, draught-proofing strips that stick around the window frame can help, as can draught excluders to block the gaps at the bottom of doors. According to Which? draft proofing windows and doors alone can save you up to £20 a year.
- Replace your boiler – an old and inefficient boiler will dramatically impact your EPC score. Whilst this is a more costly solution, you can cut your energy bills with a new, energy-efficient boiler.
- Solar panels – whilst initially costly, adding solar panels to your home is another sustainable way to improve your EPC rating and save money on your energy bills.
At Peter Cox, we believe in providing a holistic evaluation of loft spaces. Our expertise in damp and timber makes us the ideal partner to provide insulation solutions that make your home more energy efficient. Give us a call to find out how we can help with loft insulation for your property.
1 Insulation Surveyor Questionnaire, 21 Respondents, 27.04.22