By insulating your home and getting a more efficient heating system, you’re likely to reduce the amount you spend on heating and produce fewer carbon emissions
Houses in the UK could save £9.5bn each year in energy costs if homes were upgraded to an EPC rating of C. CO2 emissions could also be reduced by 16% to meet the UK's 2050 net zero target.
The easiest way to find out how energy-efficient your home, or the home you want is, is by checking to see it’s got an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This is the government measure of the energy efficiency of homes. It gives an energy efficiency rating (EER) from A (very efficient) to G (inefficient). It’s similar to the energy ratings given to household appliances, like fridge freezers.
An EPC can help you to understand how you could improve your EER. This could be many ways, like adding insulation, installing a new heating system, or more energy-efficient windows and doors. It could be smaller changes too, like replacing standard light bulbs with low energy bulbs. This can help you plan energy-efficient improvements. The EPC rating gives examples of potential costs and the benefits of making changes.
Understanding your home's EPC (energy performance certificate) rating can help you gauge the amount of work your home needs to reduce its carbon footprint. It’ll give you an energy efficiency rating from A (very efficient) to G (inefficient).
If you’re a homeowner in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, you can find your energy performance certificate on the government’s website. If you’re in Scotland, please visit the Scottish Energy Performance Certificate Register instead.
EPC ratings last for ten years, so keeping yours up to date is important. If you’re thinking of selling or renting your home, you’ll need a valid EPC. If you don’t already have one, you’ll need to arrange a visit from a government approved assessor who’ll carry out a number of checks on your property to provide you with your rating and certificate (costs vary).
If you’re one of our mortgage customers, you can check your EPC rating within the My Home Manager section on our app.
Small changes can help decrease the overall emissions from your home while reducing your energy bills over time. These include:
- replacing normal lightbulbs with energy saving ones
- using timed plug sockets or switching off televisions or phone chargers at the plug rather than leaving them on standby
- taking showers instead of baths
- only doing full loads of washing and drying
- reducing the thermostat by just one degree
- asking your energy supplier to get a smart meter installed to better monitor energy usage.
Upgrading the EPC rating of a property will take time, so you may want to get advice to see what you can do in the short term and what’s realistic for the future.
You can get in touch your nearest advice service to help you get a better understanding of what needs to be done and how to go about it.
- Simple Energy Advice: General advice on how to lower energy usage.
- NI Energy Advice: Offers free, independent, and impartial energy advice to domestic householders in Northern Ireland (includes energy grants and other sources of help).
- Energy Advice Scotland: Website offers practical advice and information on energy-related matters for those living in Scotland.
- Home Energy Scotland: Funded by the Scottish Government and managed by the Energy Savings Trust, Home Energy Scotland helps people in Scotland reduce their energy bills and carbon footprint. Includes advice on Scottish Government grants and interest-free loans.
- Nest Wales: Offers free advice for every homeowner and renters in Wales. If eligible, you can get a package of free home energy efficiency improvements such as a new boiler, central heating, insulation, or solar panels.
You can also pay an accredited energy assessor to evaluate your home. They’ll generally give you a list of recommendations, estimated costs, potential savings per year, and predict what the EPC rating will likely be after improvements have been made. Use the government's find an assessor tool to help you find an accredited assessor.
It may be worth looking at what schemes are available near you.
- The Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) in England and Wales can you give a grant of up to £6,000 on replacing a boiler. Information correct as at October 2022. There's also a similar scheme in Northern Ireland for those that meet the criteria.
- The Nest Wales scheme means that, if eligible, you can get a package of free home energy efficiency improvements such as a new boiler, central heating, insulation, or solar panels. Both homeowners and renters are eligible.
- In Scotland, the Warmer Homes Scotland programme offers funding of up to £5,000 for upgrades to both renters and homeowners.
Some homes may need additional funding if the changes are big, such as replacing a boiler or installing solar panels. To help with the costs, you may want to speak to a financial adviser or mortgage broker who can help map out costs and create a funding plan.
At Santander, we currently offer existing mortgage customers lower-cost borrowing for green home improvements. You could borrow up to £50,000 secured on your property, depending on what you need.
Energy saving information
Energy Saving Trust is an independent organisation that shares information about a range of energy saving products, services and ideas that could help you make the right choice for you and your home
Green additional loans
If you’re a Santander mortgage customer looking to make energy-efficient improvements to your home we could help with one of our lower rate green additional loans, up to £50,000
THINK CAREFULLY BEFORE SECURING OTHER DEBTS AGAINST YOUR HOME. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE.
Applications are subject to status and lending criteria.