Homes fail to meet insulation standards – how can you improve yours?

In today’s green-conscious society, an energy efficient home has become the benchmark for prospective buyers looking to cut down on energy bills.

But recent research has found that more than half of properties across the UK only meet insulation standards of 1976 or older.

Property data platform Sprift looked at 21.8 million energy performance certificate (EPC) statistics to reveal that 6.3 million homes only meet insulation standards of 1972 Building Regulations.

The findings come amidst rising gas and electricity bills and an increased interest in the cost of utilities by potential buyers.

Here, we take a closer look at the figures, its implications for buyers, and how sellers can improve the insulation of their home and, in turn, boost their home’s EPC.

How has insulation sentiment changed over the years?

Much has changed for insulation criteria over the past 46 years, with new rules on how much heat loss is permitted from residential properties.

Poor insulation can mean more energy is used to heat a home, exacerbating already high energy bills, which may also discourage buyers from purchasing a property.

In fact, 68% of respondents said energy performance ratings were important to their decision making, with a third saying that they placed more importance on this than they did a year ago, according to Savills.

Philippe Commaret, managing director for customers at EDF, said: “It’s surprising that the average insulation age of a home is over 40 years old, with so few homes having sufficient insulation installed to meet modern energy efficiency standards.”

He explained that as energy prices continue to rise, quality insulation is the most effective way to cut household bills permanently. But this is often overlooked as the cost of installation is a significant barrier to many.

EDF’s research of 2,000 UK homeowners commissioned found that despite the average household living with insulation standards dating back many years, only a third have ever updated their insulation.

A quarter admitted that updating their insulation is too expensive, whilst a fifth would rather spend their money on other things or don’t know what type of insulation they need.

Commaret added: “That’s why it’s so important that we work with government and industry to find new ways to get more homes insulated as soon as possible and why we’ll be supporting our vulnerable customers to help insulate their homes now, ahead of bills rising again in October.”

How can sellers improve their home’s insulation?

Despite the conception that insulation upgrades are costly, there are plenty of low-cost energy saving measures to stop heat loss, improve your home’s energy efficiency and reduce energy bills.

Draught proofing – Foam strips and draft excluder brushes can prevent cold air from entering your home through the gaps around windows, doors, letter boxes and other holes in the building fabric. Not only are they easy to fit, but they also come at a low cost and make a noticeable difference.

Smart thermostats – Thermostats are an easier way to control the temperature of your home and are a great energy efficiency and money-saving initiative. These can cost around £200 including installation and are available from all main household or DIY stores.

Double/triple glazing – Most heat escapes through the glass in windows, which is why double or triple glazing is recommended to conserve energy. Typically, an inert gas such as argon is filled between the glass panes to reduce heat transfer from your home.

Heat pumps – At the forefront of the government’s net zero efforts is a push to use more heat pumps in homes by 2025. Air source heat pumps capture heat from outside and transfers it into your home through electricity, helping to retain heat for longer.

Wall/floor/roof insulation – Insulating your loft to a standard depth of 30cm is the most effective way to prevent heat loss. In the same way, cavity wall insulation is quick and inexpensive to fit, while floor insulation is ideal if you wish to change the floor covers.

Fortunately, any of these methods could edge you closer towards achieving an energy efficient home, helping to improve its EPC rating and garner the interest of more eco-friendly buyers.

Here at Expose Property, we use our experience of listing homes in Beckenham, Penge, Crystal Palace and other places in South East London to help you sell your home home. For more information on how to improve the insulation of your property before selling, please get in touch with us today.

We also offer a free and instant online valuation tool to give you an estimate on how much your home could be worth on the current market.

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