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Stacey Dickens decided to look at investing in energy efficiency upgrades for her Victorian terraced property, in Skipton, North Yorkshire. She works for Skipton Building Society and is also a customer with the group, and was able to get a free EPC Plus assessment and report, which is offered to all customers.
The report showed her EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating is currently an E but it could be raised to a C with some upgrades, the key one being to get her roof insulated.
Ms Dickens’ property currently has the original tiles from when it was built in 1880 and she is paying around £10,000 for the insulation and to get the roof retiled.
The report also showed how much CO2 her property creates and how much she could reduce this with the measures.
She said: “I didn’t realise just how much of an impact doing nothing was having on my finances and on the CO2. Especially now because the energy costs are so high, the payback is so much less.”
She stands to save around £500 a year on energy bills with the upgrades and the report suggested that alongside other changes she could make around the home, she could reduce her bills by £1,165 a year.
Ms Dickens believes her house could be typical of much of the UK housing stock. She assumed she would have to replace her wooden sash windows as they are deteriorating and was surprised the report recommended insulating the roof first.
She is having the work done for energy savings as well as with a long-term view to increasing the value of the property.
Ms Dickens said: “There’s an element of saving energy. I want to wrap my house in cotton wool and try and make it as energy efficient as possible.
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“The more energy efficient it is, the less I’ll be spending as it will retain more heat. There are measures that I’ve taken to do that.
“I’ve brought really thick curtains and obviously I’m acutely aware of my energy bills and trying to reduce the usage.
“But I do think there’s an element of property prices. The Government has committed to being net zero by 2050.
“People are going to make purchase decisions based on energy efficiency because it shows how much money needs to be spent on a property or not.”
READ MORE: Family saves £260 a year on energy bills thanks to upgrades including new dishwasher
Ms Dickens believes it’s a good idea to get the work done now. She explained: “It is a sensible investment now, if you invest in making things as energy efficient as possible and getting your EPC rate close to A.
“I think that’s going to become more of a prominent selling feature than it previously has been.”
She previously paid £120 for an EPC report when selling her previous home so getting the report for free has been a big advantage, she said.
She has also been doing things around the house to reduce her energy use such as using her slow cooker more often and cooking food in an air fryer.
Skipton Building Society recently surveyed its buy to let customers and found a third did not know what their property’s EPC rating was.
Research from Hamptons, which is part of the Skipton group, found tenants spend on average 57 percent of their post-tax income on rent and household utility bills.
Many households in England, Scotland and Wales will see their energy bills go up next month as the £400 energy bills discount comes to an end.
This was paid in six monthly instalments to all households with a domestic energy supply with the final £67 instalment this month.
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