What is an EPC?

If you are buying or renting a property what you see of the EPC is the nice multi-coloured graph – similar to what you see when you buy a new fridge or freezer. But that nice little infographic is only part of a document which is actually 4-5 pages with lots more information on the property.

Primarily it will show the EPC rating A-G (A being the most efficient) and what its potential rating could be after improvements.

At the end of the report it also details the carbon emissions for the property and its potential.

Importantly the EPC gives you an estimate on running costs for your lighting, heating and hot water, these are based on a ‘typical household’ and ‘typical heating pattern’. From most conversations I have had, the average household seems to be ‘less than typical’ but that is because most people are careful with their energy consumption – so perhaps a better way to describe these figures is ‘worse case scenario’. Where this information is very useful is when you want to do a comparison between 2 properties and their running costs.

The report also features a list of ‘recommendations to save you money and make your home more efficient’. Some of these are default recommendations based on the construction. You will find a recommendation for internal or external wall insulation on any property which is solid stone or solid brick construction – even if it is a beautifully faced granite cottage. However these recommendations will also give you an indication of more straight forward improvements such as loft insulation or upgrading an inefficient boiler – certainly the latter could potentially give any buyer a little bargaining power. As an assessor we regularly hear how a boiler is serviced annually, never has any problems even though it is 20 plus years old, we have to record the make and model and an efficiency is allocated to that model, if it is under 80% efficiency then that recommendation will appear.

One part of the report which everyone needs to take a note of is the ‘Summary of this homes energy performance related features’. This lists details of the construction, glazing, heating system etc and gives a good overview of the property. This information again is really useful if you are comparing properties. With a bit of experience you can almost gain as useful an image of the property as you can from looking up the property on Googlemaps

How difficult is it to see the whole of the report ? It is actually really easy! Google ‘EPC Register’, EPCs are public documents so can be accessed from the register using the property address, and if you want to discuss what you find then please give us a call, we are always happy to give you any free advice or information if we can.

Get a better EPC, also see: How to improve your EPC rating?

Landlord be aware or beware!

If you are a landlord you will only be too aware of all the updates on legistlation that have been hitting you in waves over the last few months but another one hit on 1st April.

Now if a tenant makes a request to have an energy efficiency improvement done to the property the landlord cannot reasonably refuse. 

That may seem like an ambiguous statement - what is classed as an 'energy efficiency measure' and what is 'reasonable'

the link below is to the relevant piece of legislation


If you can work your way through all this - and I have tried, it makes a lot of reference to 'Green Deal' improvements (bit of a challenge as Green Deal in its intended form doesnt really exist anymore) but these will in general refer to Insulation and heating. which are low/medium cost and have some possible funding available under ECO.

As a landlord should you take action or ignore this. Bearing in mind that in 2018 if you have a property that has an EPC rating of F or G you will not be allowed to let it, then it is better to take action sooner rather than later. There maybe funding towards insulation or replacing out there, we have a few contacts that we can look at for you. It may be better to act first rather than wait for your tenant to become disgruntled. Disgruntled tenants can make a lot of waves of what are generally good landlords, and the local council seem very proactive on acting on tenants complaints. 

Take a good look at the EPCs of your portfolio and take a proactive approach - as a landlord you can reasonably refuse a tenants request for solar panels or you may not be so lucky with a temperamental boiler

Changes to the Feed-In Tariffs Scheme

Under the UK Government’s Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme, you could be paid for the electricity you generate if you install or have installed a renewable electricity-generating system like PV or a wind turbine.

The UK Government's Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) recently held a consultation on a review of the Feed-In Tariffs scheme (FITs). On 17 December 2015 they published their response which included new, reduced tariffs for domestic-scale solar PV systems which will come into force from 15 January 2016 for new installations.  Those already receiving FITs are unaffected by the changes.

FITs tariffs already published by Ofgem under the existing FITs scheme rules will apply from 1 January 2016 to 14 January 2016.

From 15 January 2016 the new, reduced tariffs will apply.

A number of changes are being made to the FITs scheme and further information will shortly be made available here. Please note that the details below does not incorporate the changes and will be updated shortly. 

Until then you can refer to the full details of the proposed changes and consultation documents on DECC’s website which are also summarised in the changes to renewables subsidies press release

Draft guidance from Ofgem has also been published

You should bear these changes in mind if you are considering investing in a renewable electricity system or are making other decisions based on the Feed-In Tariffs scheme.

Green Deal Update

Green Deal Update (24 July 2015):

The UK Government has decided to stop funding the Green Deal Finance Company (GDFC). The GDFC was set up to lend money to Green Deal providers.

If you're a consumer:

You won't be affected if your Green Deal improvements have already been made and you're making repayments through your electricity bill. Your Green Deal provider will still be responsible for any warranties or maintenance specified in your contract with them.

Contact your provider if you're in the process of arranging energy efficient improvements to your property through the Green Deal.

Contact Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282 for other advice on energy efficient improvements you can make to your home. 

If you're a provider:

Contact the GDFC to check the status of funding plans.

If you're an installer:

Contact the Green Deal provider you're working with for an update on the status of any planned installations.

If you're an assessor:

The Green Deal assessment framework is still open, and consumers can still purchase Green Deal assessments.

Renewable Heat Incentive... the clock is ticking!

Is it February already!

January has flown by and for anyone looking to claim the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive as a ‘legacy’ customer you have until the end of March to get your claim in.

If you are not sure if this applies to you then ask yourself the following questions:

Do you have installed any of the following: Air Source Heat Pump, Ground Source Heat Pump, Solar Thermal or Biomass Boiler?

If so was it installed after July 2009?

And do you have an MCS Certificate (Microgeneration Certification Scheme)?

If you can answer yes to these 3 questions and you haven't applied for the Renewable Heat Incentive then the clock is ticking

below is the link to the Ofgem ‘Guide for Applicants’


If you think you should be applying then you will need to have an Energy Performance Certificate and Green Deal Assessment along with your MCS certificate.

Green Deal Advisers are not easy to find – you cannot just google us and find us easily so if you want some advice or help on the Renewable Heat Incentive or general advice on energy efficiency or renewable energy then give us a call

Counting Down

It's December... the festive season...

We normally go quieter at this time of year – not many people think about selling their homes around Christmas time but there is still a little buzz in the the air.

Apart from the stress that we assessors are about to go through with some major changes to the conventions we work with (never did sleep well)

The important news to consider before we wave goodbye to 2014 is the change in the tariff for biomass boilers which happens at the end of the year – anyone wanting to take advantage of the higher rate for the Renewable Heat Incentive needs to get their applications in before the end of the year. The rate will be dropping from 12.20p/kwh to 10.98p/kwh. Dont miss out, you will need your EPC and Green Deal Report which can be done by Advisors like us along with the MCS certificate from your installer.

There is still no sign of the Green Deal Home Improvement fund appearing …… but I am still glued to Government websites for news……bah humhug!

The Waiting Game

My blog has been a little quiet lately... I have been waiting... patiently...

and I am still waiting...

What am I waiting for? (i hear you ask)

Important news on the new phase of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (whoop whoop)……..but I am still waiting

The next phase was meant to start in November but whereas we were hoping it meant the Ist of November there is still no news to report.

Why is this new phase of GDHIF important ?

Because it could present homeowners who are looking to improve their homes energy efficiency and get some cashback too – warm energy efficient homes mean lower bills but a bit extra back in the pocket is also good.

The last wave of the home improvement fund allowed many to replace their old boiler with a new efficient one and they got £1000 cashback (T&Cs applied) so perhaps you can understand why the next phase is worth waiting for.

So I will keep waiting and watching the Government and Ofgem websites for news of whats to come and will share it as soon as I know but if you want to be top of that list to find out please contact me directly – I already have a list of homeowners who are also waiting patiently...

New Year – New Challenge

Happy New Year to all

It feels like the Christmas and New Year break lasted a longer than ever this year. I know I was glad to get back and catch up with some work between the two – hitting the deadlines for the change in Feed In Tariff for Solar PV.

Anyway what does the New Year have in store………

For me it will be focusing on two things – Renewable Heat Incentive and Green Deal Home Improvement Fund.

For this post I am going to concentrate on the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund which needs covering in a little more detail.

The principle in straight forward –

If you want to install Solid Wall insulation you can get up to £4000 cashback (up to 67% cost of installation) – only a valid (post 2012) EPC is required as long it as shows a recommendation for EWI

If you want to apply you need to time it right – the funds are only released on a quarterly basis – next quarter starts in February – and the vouchers disappear very quickly. The funds released in December were snapped up within 48 hours. Just make sure you are set and ready when the release time comes!

The rest of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund involves installing 2 improvement measures from the approved list and then you can qualify for £1000 cashback PLUS an additional £500 if you have owned the property for less than 12 months PLUS £100 for cost of the Green Deal Report. As always there are some Ts &Cs which I have tried to include in the list below

Cavity Wall Insulation – you must have at least 50% of external walls filled

Condensing mains Gas Boiler – straight forward

Secondary Glazing – must be applied to at lease 50% of the windows in the property

Double/Triple Glazing(replacing single glazing) – must be applied to at least 50% of windows in property

Flat Roof Insulation – insulation the total flat roof area of a property

Warm Air Unit – replacement of one unit

Fan-assisted Storage Heaters – at least 3 heaters

Energy Efficient Replacement Doors – at least 2 external doors need to be improved

Floor Insulation – at least 50% of ground floor

Room-In-Roof Insulation – must insulate all of the roof

Waste Water Heat Recovery – installation of one unit

If, when you have read through this list, you think that this may apply to you then give me a call or email me and I can talk you through the next steps to making your home more energy efficient

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