The housing market is at a crossroads regarding energy consumption and efficiency. It’s been mandated that all rental homes must have an EPC rating of C or above from 2028, with homes in general sure to follow in the proceeding years.
It’s against this backdrop that the call is being raised for improved EPC ratings. The benefits are more than environmental; homes that retain heat and require less energy to run will cut costs over time, making it more comfortable for its occupants.
Below are our thoughts from an architectural perspective on how to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
Invest in a gas boiler alternative
From 2025, installing a gas boiler in a new home will be banned. This measure comes as part of the UK government’s plans to drastically reduce carbon emissions.
With this in mind, now is the time to phase out your gas- or oil-based boiler if you have the means to do so, as there are some energy-efficient alternatives that can significantly improve your EPC rating.
It’s worth bearing in mind that gas and oil boilers are used for a reason; because they are an efficient way of providing heat. However as we have to move to more sustainable methods of producing energy other options, such as solar and heat pumps, may not be as efficient therefore other elements such as insulation may need to be considered.
Speak to an experienced architect to learn more about what heating solution would work for your home, as this will vary based on your existing space and your overarching vision.
Adopt a fabric first approach
The fabric first approach to building design involves building a home around material considerations such as ventilation, insulation and airtightness. In principle, by designing the home to retain heat or facilitate airflow as needed, heating need not be relied upon as heavily, in turn improving your home’s energy efficiency and EPC rating.
This doesn’t just go for newbuilds; existing homes can also be retrofitted to be highly insulated and airtight. It’s not enough to just line the walls with thick insulation and implement draught proofing - striking the right balance between heating and cooling your home is important to ensure the property doesn’t over heat.
Work with a sustainable architect for a more efficient design
The best way to ensure your home is as sustainably run as possible is to build your brief with a like-minded architect. By taking into account your home's geography and all the site's features, your architect can work with you to craft a space that maximises energy efficiency, resulting in a more cost-effective home in the long run.