When buying your home you will have a number of immediate costs in your mind such as your surveyor fee and the mortgage. Of course these will be your immediate concerns, buying a house is a major investment, but what about the long term costs? With the ever increasing prices of Gas and Electricity, energy efficiency is becoming more of a top priority when making your purchase. Using the Energy Performance Certificate that you should receive when you are buying your home, you can make you direct savings on your energy bills in the long run.

From the 21st of May 2010 Home Improvement Packs (HIPS) are no longer a legal requirement, however Energy Performance Certificates (also known as EPCs) are still required by law. In purchasing a new home you should be provided with a free EPC, if you are not provided with this information you should contact your local council as trading standards can impose a £200 fine for domestic properties where an EPC is not provided.

What is an EPC?

Like most white goods and cars, homes now come with an energy rating from A to G (with A being the most efficient). The EPC will be based on your homes current energy efficiency and carbon dioxide emissions. This is then compared against potential figures if energy saving measures were taken.

With your EPC, you should also be provided with a detailed recommendation report that will help you to reduce the amount energy used and also to help you reduce your carbon dioxide emissions. Such recommendations may include additional loft insulation or the use of energy saving light bulbs. You will also be provided with a potential energy rating if all these steps were taken.

New properties are generally built with energy efficiency in mind so a decent score should be expected, but improvements can always be made. If you are unhappy with your result you can always contact the assessor to discuss.

How can I easily save money on my energy bills?

Most newly built properties come with double glazing as standard. There are many other ways to reduce your energy bills such as loft and wall insulation. Your first steps however can be as simple, and as low cost, as changing your light bulbs.

With advances technology, energy saving light bulbs can provide the same amount of light as a standard light bulb whilst using up to 80 per cent less electricity. Energy saving bulb’s now come in all standard shapes and sizes so they will fit with the aesthetics of your home as well as saving you money and helping the environment. Make sure the bulb carries the Energy Saving Trust Recommended logo and you can be sure you are purchasing a quality product.

We hope that you have found this information on Energy Performance Certificates helpful, and that you are able to reduce your energy costs.