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  • HMO & Multi-Lets

    Electric heating and EPC

    Hi, I developed a property 6 years ago and created 8 self contained flats. Due to gas issues, we created each unit with its own electric supply and installed Farho electric rads in each property.

    When we had the EPC done, it came out badly, below E.

    The EPC guy said that all elec heating will fall into this category.

    Surely this cant be correct? Any advice?

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    It is not correct.  The heating is a major component of the EPC rating, and having electric heating is not generally good, but having electric heating will not in itself mean a < E rating. 

    You will need to increase other measures like insulation to the walls, floor and ceilings, better low energy bulbs, etc to bring your total score to a higher point.

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    Andrew McCausland

    Managing Director Hamilton Square Estates Ltd

    Proprietor Wirral Property Group

    Sourcing and renovating investment property since 1994


    Unfortunately, in order for EPC ratings to be comparable on a like-for-like basis, the system has to paint in the broadest of broad strokes and this means making many generalisations when it comes to running costs and energy usage.

    Rather than looking at actual efficiency at point of use – of which electric heaters always get 100%! – EPC ratings are more concerned with the base unit cost of energy, so when it comes to gas versus electric, gas will always come out as top dog.

    Electric heating doesn’t fare well on the CO2 ratings chart either as the assessment is based on the production of electricity via our inefficient and somewhat outdated power stations. None of this necessarily means that your heating system is poor quality; in fact, the most sophisticated electric heating solutions on the market could still be judged as a 1 star system purely because of our predominant use of fossil fuels to create electricity.

    As Andrew outlined you need to increase other measures like UPVC double glazing, insulation to the walls, floor and ceilings, low energy bulbs, etc to bring your total score to a higher point.

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    Double glazing doesn't have to be (awful) plastic!

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    Hi Roberto

    I have recently had a similar problem with one of my properties. I chatted to the guy who did the EPC and he says it's the template they have to fill in is not designed to accommodate the different types of electric heater.

    Apparently storage heaters rate higher but are in fact not so energy efficient as some panel heaters you can buy. ( Like the ones I have). He says things will change but it won't be quick.

    Personally I think it's ridiculous that electric properties get lower rating than gas properties as a matter of course.

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    What exactly was the EPC rating in numbers?

    I assume F30 something

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    what type/ model are your panel heaters?

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    More data on type of property would be useful - eg cavity walls?? double glazed?? etc

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    Would it help if you changed your elec supplier to one of the green / eco / renewable tariffs? may mean a better EPC rating if they judge a property partly on the co2 ratings.

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    The electric tarrif won't make any difference whatsoever to the EPC rating the government software judges electric heaters by their co2 emissions on a M2 basis. Electricity is improving slowly as their is more wind turbines etc introduced to the grid but it will take many years before it catches up with gas.

    The EPC certificate has low cost recommendations tailored to your properties to improve the energy efficiency. It will also show what the rating will likely get to once you have made the recommended improvements. Read the EPC report.

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