Did you know that almost half of all carbon emissions in the UK come from our buildings? If not, you're not alone, because nine out of ten people don't realise this either. At a time when everyone is is aware of the credit crunch, the desire to reduce fuel bills by conserving energy has become even more significant.
Charlotte Lawrance is a 31-year-old working mum of two (with another one on the way) who wants to help other mums understand how small home improvements can make a big difference to their energy bills. Charlotte has been working as an independent Domestic Energy Assessor since January 2008.
Charlotte already had professional experience of going into properties as a trainee surveyor and her qualifications meant she had a good understanding of energy efficiency. When the Government introduced Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) in 2007 to provide homeowners with consistent information about their home's energy consumption, Charlotte decided to become a fully accredited assessor.
EPCs are required when you market your property for sale (as part of the Home Information Pack) or rental and the certificate looks similar to those provided with vehicles and appliances, such as fridges, and use the same coloured A to G efficiency scale – A being most efficient. Charlotte goes into homes and produces an EPC, giving an energy rating, as well as recommendations on how to improve energy efficiency. The averge energy rating for homes is currently a D – so there's a lot more people can do to save money and energy.
Some of Charlotte's top tips:
• Use low energy light bulbs
• Install solar panels
• Upgrade your boiler
A step-by-step guide to saving money and energy in your home
When Charlotte does her assessment, she feels it is really important to explain the rating and talk homeowners through the recommendations – helping them understand how small changes can lead to significant savings:
"People are often really surprised about how much they can improve their rating and what this could mean for their energy bills. I carry out assessments for a lot of families and I think being a mum really helps me relate to other parents – I try very hard to explain what the EPC and the recommendations really mean for them and this seems to have a big impact on the way they think about their current and future home."
The future's green
Being an energy assessor is a real 21st-century job and EPCs will increasingly become part of everyday life - they will help people make real contributions to tackling climate change. Charlotte is excited about being part of something that will help people better understand the impact our homes have on the planet - and our wallets.
For more energy advice and tips from Charlotte, read our webchat with Charlotte, or find more information at www.direct.gov.uk/epc
Last updated: about 3 years ago