As heating equates to 55% of your energy bills, this is the area where changes can have a significant impact.
The EPC rating is measured on the unit cost of energy (and the CO2 emissions to produce the fuel) supplied to the heating system and not necessarily what’s a more efficient means of heating in individual circumstances. For example, a large open space is cheaper to heat with a point-of-source heater, such as a portable electric convector, rather than trying to heat the entire space with gas central heating.
In terms of gas versus electric, a gas central heating system will always score higher because it’s a cheaper unit of energy and has fewer emissions. An up-to-date gas combi-boiler will provide the highest EPC rating and if you can install a gas central heating system, then this is the best option.
Electric heating systems lose out because they are more expensive per kW to heat a property, even though in many cases they are more efficient at point of source and ultimately offer a cheaper bill.
Modern convector heaters, which may be more practical, are considered the least efficient because they use the highest rate of electricity and cost the most per unit of energy to run (three times as expensive as gas and more expensive than Economy 7).
Storage heaters, are rated higher than convectors purely because they benefit from night-time cheaper tariffs even though they aren’t always the most efficient solution and aren’t always practical for delivering heat when it’s needed. Usually, a property needs to rely on an alternative form of heating in the evenings once the storage heater runs cold. But, for EPC purposes, a modern smart storage heater will get a better rating if you have to rely on electricity based heating.
A G-rated, semi-detached house can make savings of:
- Installing high heat retention storage heaters - £657 per year
Main heating controls
For those that have gas central heating, the use of thermostatic radiator valves on each individual radiator are a cheap investment and a quick win to improve your EPC rating.
Using a room thermostat will also better manage your energy usage and will have a positive influence on your rating.
Replacing an old boiler can have a significant impact on the energy efficiency of your heating and your EPC rating.
Replacing an old, G-rated (appliance rating) boiler that has less than 70% efficiency, with a new, A-rated condensing boiler with a programmer, room thermostat and thermostatic radiator controls, can make an annual saving of £305 for a detached house.