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Energy Efficiency Improvements
That actually Lowers The EPC Rating

woman baffled at epc rating
The Biggest Mistake Landlords Make
In this article I’ll cover why not all upgrades made to a property will increase its’ energy rating.

Week in and week out we come across a common mistake that many landlords make that actually decreases the epc rating. This often leads to a landlord being disappointed and often looking for someone to blame.

In the worst cases it can actually lead to a property falling below an E rating (the minimum requirement for legally renting a property) to an F or G where previously it was not.

Suddenly you could have a property that cannot be let without having to spend more money to put it right.

So what is this mistake I here you say?

If your property is heated by gas, you can relax because this won’t affect you and you’ll probably be ok with any energy saving you make. However, if your property is heated by electricity, this is a must read for you.

Don’t Do This If Your Property Is Heated By Electric

If you have a property that currently has storage heaters, do not replace them with electric panel heaters – unless you get expert energy advice by a qualified domestic energy assessor first.

This change to the heating system will definitely decrease your EPC rating. The same will apply if you are thinking of installing an electric boiler.

Although electric panel heating are 100% efficient, that is for every kw they use, they put out 1 kw of heat. However, the running costs are around twice the price of Economy 7 storage heaters.

The Energy Performance Certificate is based on the running costs of providing heating and hot water to a property. Therefore, if changes are made to the property that increases those costs, it will have a negative effect on the EPC.

In short, storage heaters are cheaper to run because they use off peak electric to heat the property, whereas panel heaters will use on peak heating all the time which is an expensive way to heat the property.

If you have a look at an existing EPC there will be a figure which shows the heat demand of a property. This is the amount of energy in kwh that the property will need to heat it with a typical family occupancy for its size.


Example of heat demand on EPC
Heat demand on EPC

Below is  the comparison to heat the home above  depending on the cost of the fuel

Fuel Source
Storage Heaters on Economy 7
Electric Panel Heaters
Cost per kWh *
10.33 pence
17.024 pence
34.00 pence
Cost (£)

* Typical energy prices at November 2022

You can see from the running costs above that it costs twice as much to heat a home with panel heaters, compared to High Heat Retention Storage heaters.

For this reason alone your EPC rating will drastically be lower if you make this common mistake.

By the time you factor in the cost of also providing the hot water at peak rate, you can see why this type of system rates poorly on the EPC.

Electric panel heaters are cheap to buy and install and probably look sexier than the old storage heaters that you want to take out. But what you may not have realised is that storage heaters have also significantly come on in their technology.

If you are removing the old ones, then replace them with High Heat Retention Storage Heaters, which are not only more efficient, but they are also a lot more modern looking and will also increase your EPC rating over the old type storage heaters.

When choosing a High Heat Retention storage heater, ensure that it is one in the EPC database.

Follow this link to find the full list of High Heat Retention storage heaters.

Where Panel Heaters Can Be Used

If the property has a relatively low heat demand, around 5,000 kwh per annum or less and it is well insulated, then panel heaters are fine. In fact with modern flats, EPC ratings of around C can be achieved.

If however the property is older with little or no insulation, then they should be avoided. If the property has poor insulation and is heated by an expensive fuel source like electric then it may only achieve a rating of an F or G.


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