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Energy efficiency set to improve across U.K. private housing

From 1 April 2018, the UK property industry will be affected by an increase in EPC rating standards in privately rented homes. Recently announced by the government, the aim of this change is to improve energy efficiency in the private property sector, and it’s likely to make an impact on the insulation market.

It’s a legal requirement that property owners in the UK must supply EPC ratings for their buildings when renting or selling. These ratings have become a crucial factor for those house hunters too, providing a crucial indicator for the energy bills they can expect.

The EPC grade of each home is decided by considering the insulation, hardware and heating facilities of the property, identifying any crucial weak spots. The grades rank from ‘A’ down to a ‘G’, but under the new government regulations, all homes will now require a minimum of an ‘E’ rating to be sold or let.

This is expected to cause a brief flurry of activity, as homeowners have until the stated date to ensure that their properties reach a strong standard or risk losing out on income. However, in the long term, the regulation change will provide benefits for both homeowners and tenants alike.

For tenants, they’ll enjoy homes that are less drafty and better insulated, making living conditions more comfortable and reducing those costly utility bills. When it comes to homeowners, not only will their buildings be at a reduced risk of damp and decay, but studies have shown that home value actually increases with improved energy efficiency.

With this new regulation comes some key recommendations for homeowners. Top on the list when it comes to improving efficiency is resilient and well-designed insulation. Property insulation has been identified as making the most impactful change over time, capable of reducing crucial heat loss.

With innovative materials such as the glass wool insulation provided by the team at Superglass, insulation can be both sustainable in its own manufacturing and exceptionally reliable. The government will also be offering grants for homeowners to cover some of the costs caused by the raised EPC ratings, so improving insulation can be more cost-effective than ever.

Other suggested changes to raise EPC ratings have included installing smart storage heaters and LED bulbs, although none have the same impact as improved insulation.

With the announcement of this new regulation in the private property sector, it is expected that other business sectors will follow suit to demonstrate a commitment to sustainable practices.

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