How to gain a point on EPC

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    How to gain a point on EPC

    Hi. One of our rental properties had a replacement EPC done in 2019. It scored 68 points (band D), and if it scored one more point at 69, it would have come into band C. What I wonder is, is it worth being re-assessed after doing something minor to gain that point, assuming the ways to score points has not changed too much since 2019, before all the changes happen to EPC scoring later in the year.

    I had thought that increasing the loft insulation from 100 mm stated in the report to 270 mm should gain the point.
    Alternatively the report says the floor is solid (which it is) but assumes no insulation. The property, and it's neighbors, was built in 1990 and passed building regs at that time. Was insulation needed in solid floors at that time and can that be 'assumed' in the report. Do we need to drill a sample hole (or several) to prove it?
    The lighting was judged to be 83% low energy. Can a point be gained by being 100%.
    If any of these improvements are possible, why were they not suggested on the report, instead of the floor insulation, solar water heating or solar photovoltaic panels that cost thousands?

    Is it possible to have a 'pre EPC' to check that we would get the C band before the real thing with a full report. I assume that if we have a report that scores worse, it will still be part of the database. I assume the assessor can work out what scores will be achieved, not that the whole process is done online without the assessors control.


    #2
    I'd go with the extra loft lagging. Presumably the previous assessor could give you a yea or nay on that, just by altering a couple of things on his computer.
    To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

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      #3
      Agree, the loft seems to be the best bet. We are about to get a new algorythm soon i think so that should change the way they are all rated.

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        #4
        This is just one of the problems with EPCs. The ‘assessor’ has to assume a lot.

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          #5
          Lights and loft insulation. Although its only a guide if you look at the EPC it gives "estimated " cost for each improvement and simple terms of pounds for points, loft insulation and lights are seem to be the cheapest. With the algorithm changing , I believe to favour electric over fossil fuel and more insulation, ,these two I wouldn't think wouldn't do any harm , for sure. The biggest points gain does seem to be had with the solar photovoltaic panels, 11 points on mine supposedly , if I had them installed. You can also help give yourself some ideas of improvement values by looking up the certificates of similar properties in your street. Sadly that doesn't detail the points given per existing improvement ( a missed opportunity ), but may give you some ideas.

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            #6
            Thanks for your thoughts so far.
            Our idea was that if we could get the house to C before the algorithm changes, it might avoid a shock. The house heating and hot water are fueled by gas and I dread to think what changes might happen to 'encourage' us to swap to using renewables. With a C we would have 10 years to plan and save up and to do any changes during a void rather than having to evict our steady, long term tenants if we stayed a D. I presume the government cannot change it retrospectively once awarded?
            Does anyone know where we can find out what the building regs asked for in 1990/1991? If we can convince the assessor that the floor is insulated, that would be zero cost (apart from the cost of the EPC).

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              #7
              The assumptions they work from, are what the building regs were when the place was built, so pointless worrying about the floor, IMHO.
              To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

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                #8
                Originally posted by JK0 View Post

                The assumptions they work from, are what the building regs were when the place was built, so pointless worrying about the floor, IMHO.
                I bet these EPC inspectors have a VERY limited knowledge of the regs. I once had an argument about my converted barn, regarding what insulation it had. Because it was converted in 1995, they said it would have cavity wall insulation. But that’s not what the regs of that time actually said, only that it needed to meet a minimum level of insulation, not meet specific things.
                this is the problem with EPCs, they should be done by RICS building surveyors.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by SouthernDave View Post
                  .
                  this is the problem with EPCs, they should be done by RICS building surveyors.
                  Totally agree......... they can finish at McDonalds on the Friday, and by Monday they are an EPC assessor ! If the outcome of their opinion was not so serious for both landlords and tenants it would be laughable.

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                    #10
                    Do not fret. People without homes will be thick on the ground when this government's policies achieve their inevitable outcome, and the planet will be destroyed by incentivising the wrong things.

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by Hudson01 View Post

                      Totally agree......... they can finish at McDonalds on the Friday, and by Monday they are an EPC assessor ! If the outcome of their opinion was not so serious for both landlords and tenants it would be laughable.
                      Couldn’t put it any better

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                        #12
                        Bung in some led lights-cheap and quick.

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                          #13
                          what is absurd is that a really efficient LPG boiler off grid is heavily marked down whereas LPG is a clean fuel and if not used is just flared off. The LPG Association have had no success in seeking the Government to change its tune. Very disappointing indeed. I would really like to know about the new EPC regime, just dickering whether to put in gas to an all electric property which would be quite a lot of work, at present would get me the grades which are pretty dreadful on electric heating

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by flyingfreehold View Post
                            , just deciding whether to put in gas to an all electric property which would be quite a lot of work, at present would get me the grades which are pretty dreadful on electric heating
                            A difficult one, given the govt has said they are banning gas boilders from (in a few years time)........ then i cannot see how gas can still hold its place in the EPC top table, if you changed to gas and then it got downgraded i would be gutted.

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                              #15
                              I'd start by talking to the EPC assessor. I had 1 done last year that was a point or 2 below a C. I wish that I had been there when he visited instead of just the tenant.
                              He assumed that there was only 50mm of loft insulation as this was normal for the street, until I provided proof that I'd just added another 270mm. In hindsight next time I'll add more to make it over 300mm. He never looked as he thought his ladder may damage the loft hatch. He said it didn't look secure. He did give me credit for TRV's as the tenant told him that she was waiting for the plumber to show up and fit them, which he did.

                              He also assumed that the house had solid walls, when it was actually cavity walled but non standard construction.

                              He re ran the numbers after I showed him pictures and it just made the C. He asked if i'd pay a minimum fee for him to re lodge the new information it would get the C.

                              Best advice I could offer is be there when the guy shows up and look at all of the other EPC's in the street. Look at how other assessors are assuming different things and get a 2nd EPC done. They seem to do the same thing when they assume.

                              I normally wouldn't consider buying anything that didn't have a new comfortable C rating, but I've just decided to take take on a 1995 house that is an E.

                              It desperately needs a new condensing boiler, more loft insulation, LED lights, etc. The rest of the street is split between a C and a D. some assessors presume some wall and floor insulation and others assume no insulation.

                              Could be an expensive mistake if I get it wrong. But I'll be contacting the ones that assume there is some insulation and hope it goes well, and point them to their other EPC's.

                              Other than this, i'll buy a small smartphone boroscope and check. Its a small new build size house, so if I need to add cavity wall insulation or anything else, I'm prepared to admit I made a mistake and pay to get it to a C or loose some money and sell it if it's not possible.

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