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Category Archive for "Publications" | EPC Gas Specialist

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Category Archives: Publications

Top 10 Energy Saving Tips

Here are our 10 top ways for you to bring down your bills and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time.

1. Insulate your loft

Earlier this year, the Department for Energy and Climate Change claimed that UK homes wasted £500 million pumping heat into their homes that escaped through poorly insulated roofs and walls.

In fact, with decent insulation, each home could save £160 each on average every year, it claimed.

So, lay down some decent loft insulation and you’ll soon see a difference.

2. Upgrade your boiler

Did you know inefficient boilers could be adding more than £200 to your energy bills? That means that upgrading yours could be a great way to cut what you pay in the long term. It’s also a great way to dramatically reduce your home’s carbon emissions – boilers account for 60% of the carbon dioxide emissions in a gas heated home.

Boilers are rated on a scale of A to G, with A being the most energy efficient. If yours is at the lower end of the scale then investing in a new one could save you a packet over the long-term.

3. Hang thick curtains and insulate your doors

Sometimes, the simplest solutions are the best. Hanging thicker curtains over windows will prevent heat escaping and make your home much more snug, especially once the nights become longer.

You can also buy cheap stick-on insulation to run down the sides of drafty doors – it will all add up to a warmer home and lower bills.

4. Watch your energy consumption

Do you know how much energy you waste? Invest in an energy monitor – they cost around £30 but some gas and electricity companies give them to customers for free.

Put it somewhere your whole family can see it, like the kitchen. Some of these handy gadgets work out how much your energy use is costing, so that’s a really good reminder to cut back.

British Gas research shows that having a monitor helps families save as much as £110 a year simply by cutting back because they can actually see what they use.

5. Switch to a cheaper energy tariff

Make sure you find the cheapest energy deal for you – after all, you could use the savings to invest in making your home more energy efficient. There’s an exclusive deal with Scottish Power at the moment where if you switch to one of its dual fuel tariffs you could earn £70 cashback, so it’s a good time to consider moving.

One way householders can make a stand for the planet is by switching to a green energy tariff.

 

Many gas and electricity companies offer these kinds of tariffs, which mean that, for any power you use, they contribute energy from renewable sources to the grid.

You can compare green gas and electricity tariffs through our site but, bear in mind these are usually more expensive than standard tariffs.

6. Use a water-saving showerhead

We all know that baths can be wasteful and so a shower is a greener option, but just how green is your daily wash?

If you spend 20 minutes soaping yourself under a torrent of scalding water then you’re probably using more energy than you think. Some power showers use more water in five minutes than a whole bath.

By fitting a water saving showerhead, you’ll cut back on the amount of water and energy you use.

7. Fit double glazing

If you don’t yet have double glazing fitted, you’ll be amazed at the difference it can make to your annual energy bills.

Your initial investment will be fairly high but double-glazed windows will trap more heat inside your home, meaning they will save you money in the long term.

Double glazing is available in a variety of styles, so it doesn’t have to ruin the look of your home. When you are choosing your windows, look out for the ‘Energy Saving Trust recommended’ logo as this seal of approval is only given to the more efficient windows.

8. Invest in an eco kettle

Do you boil a whole kettleful of water each time you fancy one cup of tea? Kettles are incredibly wasteful but you can save on energy by only heating what you need and investing in an environmentally friendly alternative. Some eco kettles use as much as 30% less power.

In fact, it’s not just eco kettles that can help you save. Choosing appliances like TVs and fridges based on their energy efficiency can make a big difference. Which? says that the annual running costs for a fridge can vary from £13 to £92 a year – so finding the most efficient model is clearly a good idea.

9. Consider solar panels

Solar panels enable you to generate some of your own heat or power and even sell energy back to the National Grid with a feed-in tariff.

Some panels warm the water in your tanks by a small amount, reducing your overall bills.

But those with photovoltaic (PV) cells actually generate energy and the Energy Saving Trust thinks the average home can provide 40% of its power this way. If you’re generating energy at the wrong time of day for you to use, you can sell that back to grid and someone else will use it.

The average PV system costs £12,000, although it obviously depends on the amount you want to generate and the space you have for the panels.

Some companies are offering free solar panels in return for the income made through selling the energy to the grid. You get free energy through the panels, while any unused energy is sold and the proceeds given to the company.

Be very careful as it is early days for these schemes and there are some fraudsters taking advantage. However, for many people this could be a useful way to do their bit for the environment at no extra cost.

Solar panels work even when it’s cloudy, so don’t let the UK weather put you off.

10. Insulate your cavity walls

Uninsulated walls account for up to 33% of the heat lost in your home. Filling cavity walls could save you up to £180 a year and reduce carbon emissions by a tonne.

Of course, a job like this doesn’t come cheap – cavity wall insulation costs from £300 upwards depending on the size of your property – but there are grants available to help with the cost. Look under the ‘search for grants and offers’ section on the Energy Saving Trust website, which will tell you more about offers available in your area.

The size of grants may differ depending on your personal circumstances, age and geographical area, but they are not usually restricted to the elderly or those on low incomes.

Every little helps…

Of course, remembering to switch off lights or TVs does make some difference, so don’t give up on changing habits like this. If everyone makes the effort then it will have a larger impact.

 

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Importance Of Gas Registered Engineers

At EPC Specialist we strongly recommend before you have any gas work carried out, service or installation of a gas appliance, boiler or fire, that you use a professional gas engineer. Gas can be a volatile, harmful substance if installed incorrectly resulting in potentially fatal, dangerous home improvement work.

Dangerous home improvement work can include things such as building around or over a flue extraction for boiler or fire. This can result in a build-up of dangerous combustible gasses or potential carbon monoxide poisoning. In some cases, it is clear to see that a gas safe registered engineer is required. However, in other cases, the expertise of a gas engineer may be overlooked.

 

luton gas engineer

The Gas safe register advises that if you are unsure, suspect or just want to put your mind at rest, you should call a gas safe registered engineer and book a gas safety inspection. A gas safe engineer will be able to inspect your existing appliance to certify whether its function has been affected by new building work and certify whether it is safe to use.

Since 2008 In accordance with the law within the UK including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man all legitimate gas engineers must be Gas Safe registered and will carry a Gas Safe Registration Card. See an example of a genuine gas safe registration ID card in the picture below.

Make sure the engineer is the person on the card and represents the company you have employed to carry out the work. You will find on the back of the Gas Safe ID card a list of competencies that the gas engineer is qualified to work on and their expiry date. You can check the authenticity of the identification card by checking the hologram and the license number.

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Landlords Seeking Electrical Services

Landlord Note

Electrical Installation Safety Checks are to become mandatory for all rental properties in Luton. You will need to have an Electrical Installation Condition Report done every 5 years for all rental properties.

We can provide your Landlord EICR in and around the Luton area within 48 hours of order.

An Electrical Installation Condition Report or EICR is a document provided once a full Electrical Installation Safety Check has been carried out on the property.

During the Electrical Safety Check the mains electrical power supply will need to be disconnected for safety reasons and also to be able to apply the correct tests to the relevant electrical circuits.

It must be carried out by a qualified electrician who has a good working knowledge and experience of electrical installations.

Depending on the size of the property the Electrical Installation Check could take anything from a couple of hours to a full day.

Contact us today
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Energy Performance Certificate Explained

When should you get an EPC?

As a general rule, an EPC is required every time a home is put up for sale or for rent. So, a newly constructed home will have one, a landlord will need one to show potential tenants, and a seller must have one to show to potential buyers.

There are a few exceptions. You don’t need one for a room that’s being rented out by a resident landlord and listed buildings may also be exempt as they can’t have upgrades like double glazing.

The requirement for an EPC has been the law since 2008 (2009 in Scotland), meaning that if your home has been let or sold since then it should have one. They remain valid for 10 years.

There’s a national register of EPCs, unless you’ve opted out, where you can take a look at your property’s previous certificates (as well as viewing similar properties in your neighbourhood for a comparison of how energy efficient your home is).

Do I need to buy an EPC when buying or renting a property?

You should never be charged for an EPC when you’re looking to buy or rent, it should be handed over free of charge — otherwise the seller or landlord could be fined £200.

If you’re a landlord or seller, you’ll need to at least get this certificate ordered before you put the property on the market (you may be able to use the EPC given to you when you bought the property if it’s still valid).

If you own a commercial property that you want to sell or lease, you’ll also need to get an EPC organised.

If you’re interested in the energy performance of your existing home, and don’t match the eligibility criteria mentioned above, there is nothing stopping you from getting one commissioned for your home for personal use – but you will have to pay for it.

How much does an EPC cost?

There’s no fixed fee for an EPC, it depends on a number of factors including what kind of property you live in and how many bedrooms it has. The area you live in can also affect the price considerably.

EPC prices typically start at £35, but a certificate for a large house in an expensive city could easily cost several times that, best thing to do is book in a consultation.

What information is displayed on an EPC?

An EPC is a relatively straightforward certificate. It will look a bit like the multi-coloured sticker that you get on new household appliances.

Here’s a quick rundown of what’s included:

Energy efficiency rating

A section of your EPC will be dedicated to how energy efficient your property is. It’s graded from A to G, with A meaning an energy efficient, well-insulated, probably modern home, and G meaning a draughty old building where the wind rattles the walls.

Typically, you’ll find an older property with no retrofitted energy-saving technology will be around a D grade.

There will also be a number from 1 – 100, where a higher number signifies that the home is more efficient and the fuel bills will cost less.

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Estimated costs of running your home

Your EPC will give an indication of how much it will cost to heat and power your home. Details are also listed on potential savings that could be made should you improve the energy efficiency of your household running costs.

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Summary of energy performance related features

This section of the EPC will give you an indication of how energy efficient different aspects of your home are. It can act as a useful guide to help you work out which areas to focus on first when improving your home’s efficiency.

epc specialists in Luton

Changes to EPCs for landlords and tenants

From April 2018, landlords will be required to achieve a minimum rating of E on the EPC for their rental property. Unless there is an accepted exemption, landlords face a penalty of up to £4,000 for failure to meet the minimum efficiency requirement.

The information provided on EPCs is also helpful for tenants looking to improve the energy efficiency of their home. As of April 2016, tenants can now seek permission from their landlord to undertake energy efficiency measures on their privately rented property.

Who can carry out an EPC?

An accredited domestic energy assessor will need to issue you with your EPC, it’s not something you can do by yourself.

You might be offered the services of one via an estate agent or letting agent, but you can find your own if you prefer or want to compare prices. You can also visit the EPC Register for recommendations.

What if I have a question about my EPC?

If you don’t understand something on your certificate or you disagree with it, the first place to go is the energy assessor that carried out the EPC – their details should be available in the ‘About this document’ section.

But if they can’t resolve your issue, you can contact their accreditation scheme, and the details will also be listed in the same section of the certificate.

 

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