Is Energy Efficiency the Key to a Quick Sale?

Monday, 17 February 2014

New research has suggested that houses with a high Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating are selling faster than they were three years ago, leading some to indicate that energy efficiency is now the key to a quick, profitable property sale.

EPC's indicate how energy efficient a home is, with an A rating representing the top of the scale, and G representing a drafty barn. And according to research from Knight Frank, achieving an A rating can make all the difference when it comes to selling your home. Rupert Sweeting, head of country residential property at the upmarket estate agent, commented:

“Though EPCs were introduced in 2007, it is only in the last year or so that buyers have started to pay attention to them,” adding, “We have also seen an increase in the popularity of traditional houses that are eco-aware. Those heated by wood-chip boilers, for example.”

The news will come as a boost to homeowners looking to improve their green credentials. Normally, the biggest worry when investing in energy efficiency improvements is that the savings accrue in the long term, meaning that an unexpected move could undo the benefits. But if the changes also help the speed and price of a sale, then it would seem that there's an upside either way.

The wood-chip boilers cited by Knight Frank are just one of the many ways you might want to consider improving your EPC rating, but you could also:

• Examine insulation options. Only around 70% of homes in the UK are insulated, and with green options like sheep's wool insulation taking off, there's scope to improve

• Improve door and window frames/panes. Double or triple glazing and draft excluding PVC frames can make a big difference to energy efficiency

• Ground source heat pumps are the latest way to warm your home, and the Energy Saving Trust estimates they can save some homes thousands per year in heating bills

• Make the most of your environment by using solar panels to heat water and provide energy or, if your area is more blustery than blistery, investigate wind turbine options

For specific advice on improving your home's energy performance, you can also visit the government's EPC Adviser service. If you do decide to make changes, don't forgot to inform your insurance provider as it may affect your home insurance policy.

Sources:
1.
www.telegraph.co.uk/property/greenproperty/10614549/Energy-efficient-property-the-lure-of-the-nil-bill-home.html  
2.
www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/209029/Statistical_release_-_Estimates_of_home_insulation_levels_in_Great_Britain_April_13.pdf   
3.
www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Generating-energy/Choosing-a-renewable-technology/Ground-source-heat-pumps  

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