Improve EPC by changing light bulbs (and back again)

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  • mind the gap
    replied
    Thanks for doing that! Appreciated.

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  • guy.raoul.smith
    replied
    Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
    Perhaps this should be clarified : the conversion must have been from a non-domestic use, e.g. barn, shop (not just a renovation/refurb), and I do not think it has to be after 1996. EPCs for conversions undertaken pre-1996 can be based on the date of conversion, assuming it can be proven.
    What I was trying to say,and should have made clearer is:

    If a property has been converted into flats during or after 1995 (on double checking this info with my accrediting body I realized the relevant date is 1995 not 1996), be it from a bigger flat / house, or from non domestic use, then the conversion will have been carried out to the standard required by building regs for a new build. As such the construction date can be entered as the date of conversion rather than the date of original construction, providing the landlord can produce the sign off sheet.

    Older conversions can also be entered with the conversion date instead of construction date provided a sign off sheet demonstrates all elements (roof, floor and walls) have been upgraded, but often they have not, as building regs pre 1995 did not require this to be done.

    Attic conversions can also have their conversion date recorded separately to the main property construction date, but again only if the landlord can produce the sign off sheet. This will often make a huge difference to your EPC rating.

    I am the original author of the article I posted in this thread. I wrote it to publish in article marketing sites to promote / get links for my energy assessment business, but I just thought I should post it here as well as I am often asked by landlords how they can cheaply and simply improve their EPC rating.

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  • mind the gap
    replied
    Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
    OP was geester_24 almost a year ago.
    Correction : not OP, but guy.raoul.smith is to be thanked for his advice.

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  • jeffrey
    replied
    Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
    OP: as you have probably gathered, Jeffrey is politically averse to the concept of EPCs, so you'll have to excuse his rather mealy-mouthed comment.
    OP was geester_24 almost a year ago.

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  • mind the gap
    replied
    Originally posted by guy.raoul.smith View Post

    Have documentation ready:

    If your property, or any part of it has been converted since 1996 then the DEA will be able to enter the date of conversion as the construction date for that element in the EPC, but only if you can show them the building regulations sign off sheet, otherwise the construction date will be entered as the same as the main buildings original construction date, resulting in a worse EPC rating.
    Perhaps this should be clarified : the conversion must have been from a non-domestic use, e.g. barn, shop (not just a renovation/refurb), and I do not think it has to be after 1996. EPCs for conversions undertaken pre-1996 can be based on the date of conversion, assuming it can be proven.

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  • mind the gap
    replied
    Thanks to OP for some interesting and useful information.

    Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
    And your question was...?
    Jeffrey : Please stop being so defensive and grumpy!

    Nobody asks what your question is when you reproduce indigestibly long chunks of legislation for our information. If someone takes the trouble to post relevant and useful information, there does not always have to be a question, does there?

    At least OP has presented his information clearly and helpfully, and explained why the measures he suggests will affect an EPC rating.
    My only suggestion would be that he clarifies the authorship of the 'article' he reproduces.

    OP: as you have probably gathered, Jeffrey is politically averse to the concept of EPCs, so you'll have to excuse his rather mealy-mouthed comment.

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  • jeffrey
    replied
    And your question was...?

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  • guy.raoul.smith
    replied
    This article explains the cheapest ways to improve your EPC rating.

    It is a legal requirement for all domestic properties in the UK to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) in place before a property is sold or rented out. All EPCs must be issued by an accredited Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA). This article describes what the DEA is looking at when they carry out an EPC inspection, and at what simple measures you can take to ensure your property gets the best possible rating.

    In an EPC survey the DEA will be looking at 5 main elements as follows:

    • How the property is constructed
    • How the space is heated
    • How the water is heated
    • How the property is lighted
    • What ventilation systems are in place

    The DEA will collect data about all these elements; this data will then be fed into a piece of computer software which will generate the EPC. The methodology used by the software to produce the EPC is the Reduced Data Standard Assessment Procedure (RDSAP). RDSAP is a simplified version of the more rigorous Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) which, along with the Simplified Building Energy Model (SBEM) is used for producing commercial and new build EPC. The simplified RDSAP methodology was chosen for domestic EPC production because the complexity of the other two methodologies results in the surveys costing much more to produce, something which was considered to be acceptable for the commercial market but not for domestic properties.

    The RDSAP procedure entails the software making a series of assumptions in place of gathered data. This makes domestic EPC easier and quicker to produce, reducing the cost for landlords / vendors and therefore helping to increase compliance. This is all well and good, but does come at a cost, as the use of assumption in place of gathered data can result in some properties being given an arbitrary energy rating that does not properly reflect the buildings performance.

    On top of the EPC software making assumptions the DEA may have to make some assumptions themselves when carrying out an EPC survey. When this happens they are obliged to always assume the worst; for example when a light fitting is found to be empty they will always have to assume that when the bulb is replaced it will be with an incandescent bulb rather than a low energy one.

    There are several low cost measures the owner of a property can take to ensure that their building gets the best energy rating possible.

    Access:

    The first and most important thing to do is to make sure that the assessor can get access to all the parts of the property they need to inspect in the EPC survey, as any assumptions they are forced to make are likely to result in a worse EPC rating. For example if it is not possible for the assessor to access the loft area, either because the hatch is locked or access through under eves storage cupboards is blocked by stuff, then the assessor will have to assume no insulation is present. The same applies for the hot water cylinder, if the DEA cannot open the cupboard to see the cylinder then it will be assumed it has no insulation.

    Have documentation ready:

    If your property, or any part of it has been converted since 1996 then the DEA will be able to enter the date of conversion as the construction date for that element in the EPC, but only if you can show them the building regulations sign off sheet, otherwise the construction date will be entered as the same as the main buildings original construction date, resulting in a worse EPC rating.

    Insulate your water tank:

    As part of the EPC inspection the DEA will look at how well insulated your hot water tank is. Most tanks have 25mm of foam insulation or a jacket. Hot water cylinder jackets are cheap to buy, and adding an extra one, or putting one on over the foam insulation will make a noticeable difference to your EPC rating.

    Remove portable heaters:

    If whilst carrying out the EPC inspection the assessor finds any portable electric or propane heaters in the property then they will be entered as a secondary heating method. In most cases this will result in your property getting a lower energy rating, as they are likely to be a less efficient means of heating than your properties primary heat source. If you remove these heaters then only the primary heart source will be taken into consideration.

    Change coal for wood:

    If you have a fire place in your property then this will be entered in the EPC as either a coal or a wood heater. The DEA will make an assumption about what you burn in the fire based on what they see at the time of the inspection. If there is no visual evidence as to what fuel you use they will be forced to assume it is coal, as this gives a worse rating than using wood. It is therefore advisable to remove your coal scuttle, and replace it with a wood basket.

    Block up unused flues:

    Any open flue will result in a lower EPC rating, as they will be letting the heat rise out of your property. It is therefore advisable to block off any unused flues. This can be as simple as stuffing some spare loft insulation up there.

    Low Energy Bulbs:

    If you have any light fittings with missing bulbs then fit them with low energy light bulbs. It is not recommended to go around replacing all your incandescent bulbs with low energy units, but rather just to replace them as the old ones burn out. Whilst low energy bulbs do have an effect on the EPC rating, it is only a small one. For example, changing all the bulbs in a four bedroom hose from incandescent would make about a 2% difference to the properties EPC rating. Whilst this is only a small improvement, it is possible that it could make the difference to your rating if you are on the borderline between, for example, an E or a D rating.

    Obviously there are many more expensive measures you could take to improve your EPC rating, such as replacing your boiler with a band A boiler, increasing your loft insulation and filling your cavity walls. However if you follow the above advice then you will have done everything possible to cheaply and easily improve your EPC rating before the DEA visits.

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  • jeffrey
    replied
    Old airline based in Walford: BEA(le).

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  • mind the gap
    replied
    Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
    Buymow is like flymo.
    That's a budget airline based in Walford, isn't it?

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  • jeffrey
    replied
    Buymow is like flymo.

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  • mind the gap
    replied
    Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
    As they say, buy mow whilst stocks last!
    Buy mow?

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  • jeffrey
    replied
    As they say, buy mow whilst stocks last!

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  • bullybantam
    replied
    Originally posted by Bel View Post
    LE bulbs are poor at lighting.
    Indeed so.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...im-future.html


    Plus of course most can't be dimmed, take ages to warm up and contain toxic chemicals.

    BTW You can still buy proper light bulbs. The ban is for "domestic" use, many electrical wholesalers sell them for industrial use.

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  • Mrs Mug
    replied
    Originally posted by Bel View Post
    LE bulbs are poor at lighting.
    I’ve tried to find the report I read but I couldn’t, so this is just from memory.

    Anyway, it said that the equivalent ratings given for low energy bulbs in Europe are much higher than that used in the USA. The ratio in Europe is 1:5, whereas in the USA it is 1:3.

    So to achieve the equivalent of a 60W bulb in Europe, you are told to buy a 12W low energy bulb, whereas in the USA you would be told to buy a 20W low energy bulb. This is why everyone complains about the low light output.

    Now when we buy low energy bulbs, we buy bulbs that are rated at a third of the incandescent bulb we are replacing.

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