For isolated, small-scale and low risk improvements such as draught-proofing, an EPC may be sufficient. An accredited EPC assessor will come to your home and, for between £30-£120, they will profile the carbon emissions, lighting, heating and hot water usage of your property per year, along with the potential annual costs. This is a brief survey and at the end you receive a colour coded graph indicating your home’s energy performance. More information on EPCs here and here. Be aware that this survey will not consider whether the existing ventilation in your home is of a good enough standard and it won’t assess the general property condition, for example, things like leaking gutters or damaged roofing. These issues might affect how appropriate some of the measures (suggested by the EPC) actually are. These measures are generated automatically by the EPC software.
Understanding the current condition of your home – for example whether there are any structural or damp problems – is incredibly helpful before embarking on any retrofit works. It’s best to avoid starting any expensive improvements such as floor or wall insulation only to discover that you have a damp problem that needs to be resolved first. This is where a house survey – similar to the type you’d get if you were thinking about buying a property – can help. They cost between £400 - £1,500, are conducted by accredited surveyors and there are three main types, all varying in depth: a Condition Report, a Home Condition Survey and a Building Survey. As a minimum we suggest you get a Home Condition Survey. If you suspect there may be problems, then it’s worth getting a Building Survey.
More information on house condition surveys here: https://www.which.co.uk/money/...
If you have a very clear idea of what retrofit measures you want, you can ask an advisory organisation such as People Powered Retrofit to conduct a short survey about your priorities, preferences and perceptions and a visual inspection of your property’s condition. We only advise you to have this brief walk-through survey if you’ve already had a more comprehensive assessment, you are very clear on the retrofit measures you want, or you are only planning small scale improvements. For any works over around £10,000 or for multiple measures, we recommend a more detailed retrofit assessment.
A thorough audit is the most accurate way of understanding the most suitable improvements for your home. This type of survey, conducted by a skilled and experienced retrofit assessor, will indicate the improvements needed to cut fuel bills and carbon emissions and improve comfort and health. It will consider things like your flood and radon gas risk levels and whether your existing ventilation system is adequate, alongside suggesting energy-efficiency improvements and options for your heating system. It should be tailored not just to your property but to your needs and circumstances. A good survey will also offer a range of different retrofit options. Choosing an independent, trusted assessor is crucial – someone who takes time to understand how you live in your property. Be aware of organisations with a commercial focus that could try to steer you down a particular route.
People Powered Retrofit offer an impartial, in-depth survey called Home Retrofit Planner. For more information on this service click here.