A good EPC rating is an indicator that the building will typically require less energy to operate. Here are five top tips for scoring a good EPC.
- Illuminate right – Natural daylight is known to be essential for human health, it helps regulate circadian rhythms (that’s your body clock) and triggers the body’s production of vitamin D. But natural daylight can also offset the use of artificial lighting and so help to reduce power consumption. By balancing the proportion of glass to wall area, windows can provide passive solar heating thereby keeping spaces bright and warm.
- Insulate tight – Whether its keeping out the winter cold or keeping in the cool conditioned air in otherwise searing hot summer heat, the principle is the same: insulation reduces the passage of heat through building walls, floors and roof. To illustrate this with some figures, the conduction heat gain through a typical uninsulated top floor apartment roof of 100 sq.m in summer may be around 2,500 W. Apply 50 mm roof insulation and roof heat gains are down to about 750 W. The result is less demand for cooling in summer and heating in winter.
- Ventilate right – In order to maintain a healthy environment free from odours, mould and indoor pollutants it is necessary to ensure an adequate extract airflow rate. In homes this is typically achieved through passive vents which may result in unwanted draughts. Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery is an alternative means of exhausting and supplying just the right amount of filtered air to meet indoor air quality criteria whilst providing heat recovery between the supply and exhaust air streams.
- Generate on site – Think of an unshaded roof is a mini solar power station. With almost year-round sun, solar power generation can do a lot to help offset electrical consumption during the day. And because power is generated virtually at the point of demand, there are far fewer distribution losses relative to national grid power. Even if the building is not in use, excess power generation can be “sold” back to the grid so others can make use of it. Solar power can rack up a good EPC score but we always advise to look at passive measures to reduce energy waste first.
- Rainwater harvesting – Water scarcity is a serious global issue which can have a devastating environmental and economic impact particularly on an island republic such as Malta. Harvesting rainwater for later re-use in toilet flushing or other non-potable consumption will offset mains potable water production and pumping power for distribution. Properties where rainwater harvesting system is installed benefit from a credit in their EPC score.