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Home Energy Masterplan – a useful decision making tool when buying a house

While the majority of our clients are homeowners looking to improve the energy efficiency of their existing property, we have recently seen an increase in the uptake of our Home Energy Masterplan services from forward-thinking potential buyers.

As gas and electricity prices rise and the days get colder, the expected cost of heating a home is having more and more influence on peoples decisions as to whether or not to buy a property. After all, no-one wants to invest in a home only to find that it’s an energy sink!

Parity Projects’ Graham Hunter says “It’s especially useful to get a report done before you move in so you can make sure you carry out as many measures as you redecorate, or before you fill the house with furniture. Carrying out works in conjunction with redecoration also keeps the cost down to a minimum.” 

While when buying a property you will have access to an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) for that property, this will only give you a crude predicted energy use based on default values for its use and a very short physical survey. Our clients have come to us looking for more detail than this, in order to accurately assess the predicted annual fuel costs and the measures that they could take to improve the energy efficiency of the property.  An EPC is also not designed to inform you how best to improve the property.

How do we model occupant use where the clients have not moved in yet?

Put simply, we carry out a physical survey of the property as usual (arranged between us and the estate agent), then consult with the clients to gauge how they intend to use the property. This can be done as usual, with the client meeting us at the property, or over the phone. By modelling the use of the central heating system, hot water, appliances and lighting, we can build an accurate picture of how energy will be consumed in the property. As with our regular Home Energy Masterplan services we can then tailor our analysis and report to the clients budget and aims.

“As we were buying a house and both going to part-time work to make time for other things, we were keen to keep our energy bills as low as possible. Low CO2 was also a factor but mostly we didn’t want to waste money as we both like to be in a warm house (we most definitely aren’t the jumper, gloves and hot water bottle brigade).

Taking one look at the solid-walled house we were thinking of buying, a friend commented ‘it looks about as energy efficient as a paper bag’ and suggested Parity as a source of good advice about how to effectively spend our very limited renovation budget.

Having a Masterplan is helping us step around our own erratic knowledge of the efficacy of different measures, so we have hard figures, rather than vague internet research, hearsay and company marketing, to base our renovation on.

I think if we didn’t have the Parity report we may have been hesitant to buy the property, worried that, in the absence of recent energy bills, it might easily have become a chilly and unpleasant place to live.” – Ayesha Garrett

When compared to the cost of buying a property, or indeed the potential cost savings that can be made by applying the correct measures, investing as little as £290 in a Home Energy Masterplan seems to us like a very sensible option.