The Benefits of Energy Efficient Property

It’s easy to think of real estate as property whose price is defined by factors like location, size, age, and architectural value. Traditionally, home appraisers use measuring sticks such as cost value or similar property within the area, called comparables. Of course, there are also great forces such as supply and demand at work. These factors will always play a big role – but there is a relatively new concept that is bound to influence property deals in the near future: the Energy Performance Certificate.

homeWhat’s on it?

Introduced in 2007, the certificate is a document which states how energy efficient a piece of property is. It is now a mandatory certificate for any property transaction.

The certificate is drawn up by an authorised Domestic Energy Assessor. The certificate reports on two things: it shows how energy efficient the property is, and it displays an estimate of what kind of environmental footprint the property leaves. You could compare it to a report card – if a property wastes little energy while creating little harm to the environment, it gets an A. If it does the opposite, it could receive a lower grade, with G as minimum.

How the rating can be improved

An average home uses about 50 to 70% of its energy for heating purposes, so it is no surprise that a great gain on energy efficiency can be made simply by making some investments in insulation and more efficient heating systems.

Insulation is practical, and compared to what its benefits are, costs only a fraction. Insulation saves money – there is an immediate financial gain in the form of savings on energy bills. These savings are not just for you; they affect the whole country and its limited ability to provide energy as well. There is also a very large comfort factor, as it is easier to maintain a home at a good temperature. Furthermore, insulation balances out nature, making it cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

Yet energy efficiency is not only about insulation. Savings can be attained by being wise on other fronts. Vinyl frames for windows and doors transfer heat much slower than, say, aluminium. Double glazed windows keep heat on one side and cold on the other. Fluorescent lights are more efficient than incandescent, and special shower heads and toilets can cut water wastage by more than 30%.

The importance of a high rating for buyers and sellers

There’s a lot more than having a certificate proclaiming your house to be green or otherwise. Research suggests that a house with an A rating is worth 10-15% more than a house with similar location, size, and age with a G. Furthermore, it cuts off the same percentage every month in expenses. And that’s not all – high-rating houses deteriorate slower because temperature and humidity are better controlled. The bottom line is this: big savings and a lot of trouble saved for everyone concerned.

Consider this: a property with an EPC rating of A sells for one-seventh more, saves a seventh on your monthly energy bill, lasts longer, and provides considerably less trouble to yourself, your neighbour, and the environment.

The choice is easy, and well worth the small investment of minor restoration, as accredited experts like epcuk.org will tell you. For sellers and buyers, it could mean the difference between a good deal or no deal.

Image courtesy of anankkml/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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