Do you own a property that is over 100 years old? Your EPC may not be very accurate. What would it mean to you if your property was a grade higher than the EPC says? Read on to find out about our study to address the inaccuracy of EPCs for older buildings.

Energy performance certificates for traditional buildings need improving

Calling landlords, owners, and lovers of Britain’s traditional period buildings – your EPC rating could be improved!

Carbon Savvy supports the UK government’s directive to meet net carbon-zero by 2050. In collaboration with Clovelly Estates, Mitchell & Dickinson and industry experts, we are raising funds to carry out a focused and rigorous study into why EPCs do not accurately represent the most cost effective energy efficiency measures for period buildings in the UK.  We will produce a report for the government Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, as well as publishing guidance for landlords and property owners on the best steps to take in order to meet minimum energy efficiency standards.  

Residential properties are required to meet a minimum energy efficiency grade of E, something that for the majority of the UK’s 450,000 traditional buildings requires carbon-saving interventions. The current Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) assessments are an excellent device to indicate modern heating efficiencies, until it comes to older traditional buildings, the thick air-pocketed walls of which are far better insulators than modern walls. 

However studies by Historic Environment Scotland and Society for Protection of Ancient Buildings have measured the efficiency of traditional walls and shown they are more efficient. There are several other areas where EPCs typically underestimate heating efficiency of traditional buildings, including the draughts through doors and windows, improvements achieved by secondary glazing, and conversion between energy efficiency improvements and EPC points gained after installing insulation. 

Thus as a traditional building resident, you could be paying unnecessarily high heating bills for expensive heating systems that landlords default to, or you’re a property owner shelling out for these systems without first installing the industry-recommended ‘fabric-first’ (this means installing insulation to prevent heat loss prior to installing heating systems).  Or perhaps you’re a potential property buyer, for which your mortgage terms are affected by the EPC rating. Finally, you might be a member of the public who’s interested in climate change literacy and wants to support effective endeavours to reverse the impact of climate change. All of these need EPCs to be representing traditional properties with a reasonable degree of accuracy.

What’s in it for you

To keep this project independent we are raising independent funding. What would it mean to you if your property EPC rating was increased by one or two bands?  For a typical British home this could mean increasing the property value by £5,000 – £10,000 and the value placed on EPC ratings by home buys is increasing rapidly each year as fuel bills rise. We invite you to donate towards this project and get the recommendations in front of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in time for their 2023 review.

For the greatest impact in lobbying our government with an evidence-based argument, we need to raise £240,000 for an effective investigation of a representative sample of UK traditional properties.  The year-long investigation will involve building physics analysis, technical building assessments, data analysis, project management and administrative costs. Between the UK’s seven million traditional old homes, plus 450,000 listed homes and commercial properties, together we can make this happen.

We’re asking for a small sum of £2,000 from listed and period property landlords, or a tiered smaller sum from traditional building owners, to help us change the current system which is costing you so much more.  If you represent a grant-giving trust, our CIC status allows us to receive funds from your organisation.

The seed fundraising runs from Tuesday 3rd May until Thursday 30th June 2022, 

Next steps

  1. Make a donation using our dedicated project bank account with Lloyds: ‘Carbon Savvy CIC’, a/c no 69862163, sort code 30-98-97. Please use as your bank transfer reference [where you heard about the project] – for example, ‘Listed Heritage’, ‘CLA’, etc.
  2. Contact us via the webform at the bottom of this page – to be added to our funders mailing update, ask any questions, or request a copy of the Project Overview document.
  3. Share with friends and colleagues and add us online! We are @epcstudy on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

We warmly invite you to share this news, or get in touch with Caron, project manager, via the form below.