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It’s not location, location, location it’s all about insulation, insulation, insulation

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: March 04, 2014

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‘CARBON appeal’ is set to replace ‘kerb appeal’ when it comes to attracting buyers in the Midlands.

A poll commissioned by leading supplier of gas and electricity supplier, npower, saw 54 per cent of Brits saying they would snub a house if it doesn’t have a new boiler and 72 per cent would reject a property without insulation.

With reports of the property market improving, experts predict 2014 will see a record surge of homes going on sale. Despite the blossoming market, insight revealed that half of new homebuyers will only make an offer if the property is energy efficient.

While almost a third of future sellers plan to add a lick of paint to the lounge or buy new plant pots to drive curb appeal, only 17 per cent would make the effort to install a new boiler or add insulation to the home to lower bills.

According to the Department of Energy and Climate Change, energy saving improvements such as a new boiler or loft and wall insulation could increase a home’s value by 14 per cent and, in some parts of England, as much as 38 per cent.

Phil Spencer, TV property expert said: ‘We all know having an energy efficient home can lower bills and save money. In a turbulent market, new home owners are now considering every aspect of a house before making an offer. While the space itself and location will always be important, ensuring your home is well-insulated and energy-efficient – having a new boiler, insulated roof and walls – will add value and give you a better chance of a quick sale.’

Furthermore, new research published by the Energy Saving Trust (EST) has shown more than half of householders polled would be willing to pay an extra £3,350 for a home with greener features, and almost three quarters of buyers would negotiate down the price of the house if it doesn’t have a new boiler, loft and wall installation.

Simon Stacey, director, energy services at npower said. ‘Energy efficient homes can save up to £325 a year but rather than making changes to the boiler or adding insulation, a quarter of sellers are choosing to update their kitchen or bathroom. Consumers need to understand that in this competitive market, an energy efficient home is a real selling point and one that will soon become a standard requirement.”

Tips from Phil Spencer on the most cost effective ways of making your home more energy efficient:

* The average household could save up to £325 a year by being more energy efficient around the home.

* When it comes to selling your home, a domestic energy assessor will inspect your home before preparing your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). Your home will be graded A-G where A is the most efficient, with a possible maximum score of 100, and G is the least efficient.

* The current average score for existing homes is a low D/high E rating and a score of 46. There are a simple range of measures you can take to boost your home into a ‘C’ rating, and stand out from the D/E crowd. Don’t forget, if purchasers are looking at similar homes in similar locations but your home has a C rating and others have an E rating, it could be the factor that clinches the deal.

Phil’s tips for instant ways to make a home energy efficient:

1. Service your boiler every year to keep it running efficiently.

2. If you have a hot water tank, make sure it is lagged with an 80mm insulating jacket and only use the immersion heater when needed.

3. Setting up your hot water cylinder thermostat to 60˚C/140˚F will make sure you don’t overheat your water unnecessarily.

4. If your central heating system also heats your hot water, insulate the pipes between the boiler and tank.

5. Fit thermostatic controls on your boiler, hot water tank and radiator valves (TRV’s) to have more control over the temperature in your house.

6. By turning your heating down 1˚C you can save money and shouldn’t notice a difference in temperature.

7.When using a dishwasher, only use the high temperature wash programs for those really dirty dishes.

The main areas a Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA) will look at for compiling the EPC are:

1. Walls and all insulation: Are cavity walls filled; do solid walls have extra internal or external insulation on them?

2. Roofs: Is the roof flat or pitched and is there at least 270mm of insulation in the loft?

3. Windows: Are windows, where the house is not subject to listing requirements, double glazed?

4. Heating: Is the boiler old or new? Do radiators have thermostatic radiator valves?

5. Hot water: How is water heated? What is the hot water cylinder insulation?

6. Secondary heating: Does the home have any other heating sources, eg fireplace or wood burner?

7. Lighting: What proportion of light bulbs are energy efficient?

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