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What is an energy efficiency rating?

Energy efficiency ratings help us understand the impact the choices we make at home have on the environment. They tell us the lasting effects our home’s energy usage has on carbon emissions.

Ratings for our home come from various sources including the appliances and gadgets we use within it.

What does it mean to be energy efficient?

Energy efficiency is choosing different ways of doing something which reduces your energy carbon footprint. By using less energy or energy that is produced from a renewable source, it takes the strain off the planet’s resources, and creates a more sustainable contribution to society. Having a way of measuring efficiency allows you to compare alternative products, options and suppliers to make an educated choice.

These ratings are visualised and measured in several different ways.

Home rating system

When you choose to buy or rent a home it legally requires an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) which determines how efficient the home is for the environment.

EPCs rate a home from 1 to 100, which is banded from energy efficiency rating G up to A (100 being the most energy efficient rating) and colour banded from red to green.

If a home has a Grade A energy rating, it’s doing everything it can to minimise energy usage. On average, homes across the UK usually have an energy rating of grade D - meaning they’re not as energy efficient as they could be. 

The EPC will also determine the cost of running the home as well as advisory home improvements to help improve your rating and move further up the scale.

For more detailed information about EPCs, read our 'Energy Performance Certificates explained' article.

Appliance energy efficiency rating

Home electrical appliances are also measured against an energy efficiency standard so that buyers can make an educated choice when it comes to the items used. Appliance energy ratings are useful for consumers to understand the power usage that products require, but they’re also a way to encourage businesses to provide innovative, forward-thinking products that utilise less energy.

In the UK, European energy labels are used to rate how energy efficient appliances are. They also rank from grades A to G, depending on how much energy the item uses. Like with EPCs, grade A is the most energy efficient rating for an appliance, meaning it uses the least amount of energy to run or work.

You can find an energy efficiency rating on the most common household items such as refrigerators, kitchen appliances, televisions, washing machines, dishwashers and lighting. By choosing products with an energy rating A-C, they will require less energy and not only reduce your carbon footprint, but reduce your energy bills, too.

How to improve your energy rating?

The main way to increase your energy efficiency rating is to make more environmentally-conscious choices around your home.

Steps such as upgrading to LED lighting, choosing a more energy efficient boiler or installing double glazing all help towards making your home kinder to the environment, and ultimately to your pockets, too, in the long run.

For further information on improving your energy efficient rating check out our 'How to make your home more energy efficient' article full of tips and tricks for greener home improvements.

Sustainable Living hub 

Explore our Sustainable Living hub and find out how to make more sustainable choices with our handy tips and guides.
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