Why is the EPC Rating in my London Flat Different to Others in the Same Block?

block of flats in London

Our assessors working throughout London on a daily basis means alot of assessments for flats in larger blocks. Naturally there are a large range of flats from modern builds, 10 or even 20 years old to Victorian mansion conversions, including flats built from structures which were not originally for residential such as converted school blocks.

The assessors are often asked by their customers why their flat has a different rating to another flat in the same block. Whilst the blocks share alot of the same construction such as same floorplan layouts. This can easily be a cause of confusion for the customer and disappointing as they may have an expection of the same or similar EPC rating as their neighbour. There are a few crucial reasons, many of them may seem small but they do make a difference when an assessor performs the calculations. Following are a few of these to help homeowners understand the differences.

Heating & Hot Water Systems

standard combi boiler

Many apartment blocks have a communal heating systems and others have independant boilers or electric heating. So whilst there may be some communal heating specifically for common areas such as hallways, entry points etc these will carry the same weight for each flat in the same block as far as the EPC calculations are concerned. However some homeowners may have replaced their boilers with newer and more energy efficient ones, this will have a large impact on the calculations of the EPC rating.

Flat Position

Even though the layout and the heating may be similar, the assessor will take into the calculations the amount of heat loss your property has. To illustrate, if the flat is in the middle of the block (ie not the top floor) then the heat retention is better and therefore will use less energy to heat it to maintain a desired temperature. If the flat is on the top floor but does not have insulation, it will take more energy to heat it and therefore will have a negative impact on the EPC rating.

EPC Legislative Changes

When was the EPC last checked? The way which EPCs are measured remain quite similar over the years, however there have been some changes which affects the overall calculations. Therefore an EPC carried out over 10 years ago could be different to one performed now. If your neighbour just had one carried out and yours is several years old, it could simply be down to legslative changes which affected the calculations.

I have double/triple glazing, but my rating is lower than my next door neighbour?

Energy efficient double glazing for windows and doors

Despite what the sales people will tell you, changing your window/door glazing to double or triple glazing only has a small impact on the calculations. However it is still recommended, especially if you’re in a noisy London area the additional glazing will make a big difference there! With regards to the EPC rating though it does have a postive impact, but there is likely other factors as to why your property’s rating is different.

Documentation – Proof of Works

If your flat has had major work such as extensions, cavity wall insulation, draught sealing or renewable energy installed it is critical that this is documented and is made availailable for the EPC assessor to view. For example, your walls are not always accessible to the assessor to prove the existence of cavity insulation (some do have the tools though) so having proof that the work was performed will allow the EPC assessor to adjust the calculations accordingly.

Was the previous EPC miscalculated?

Humans can make mistakes and whilst this really is very rare as there are auditing systems in place by the EPC accreditation agencies such as Stromo and Elmhurst, human error can be a factor.

The best advice we could give would relax about the difference in EPC rating between you and your neighbour’s homes. There are so many variables that could affect the rating and it could be just speculation about why the ratings differ. If you’re not sure about the reason why your rating isn’t what you think you should, contact us and inquire. We’ve completed many thousand of EPCs in London and will be able to provide an expert opinion on what you should take to improve your rating.

Posted in Home EPC.