Tips For Better Energy Efficiency at Home
1st October 2023
1st October 2023
There’s been a significant rise in buyer interest in the energy efficiency of properties - but so far, it’s making no difference to house prices.
62% of respondents anticipate demand for energy-efficient properties improving over the coming three years; the current barrier for 85% of respondents to improve their energy efficiency is cost.
Energy efficiency means doing more with less. So, for instance, energy-saving light bulbs create the same amount of light but use less energy and waste less heat than old-style light bulbs.
In the same way, if two buildings use the same amount of energy to create heat, the building that can keep in more of that heat is more energy-efficient than the one that lets more escape. You get the idea!
Energy efficiency saves wildlife habitats and helps safeguard the planet. It helps to cut down our reliance on planet-polluting fossil fuels, and it also helps us pay as little as possible for our energy bills.
Taking just a few simple measures, such as turning your heating down or switching to a lower washing machine setting, can significantly affect annual bills. The sooner you start making changes; the more significant the savings will be.
So here is how to make your home more energy-efficient.
Insulating a roof is perhaps the easiest of all the energy-saving home improvements. It’s also within the capability of most DIYers, and the effect it will have on your energy bills depends on what you’re replacing and how big your roof is. It’s also much more important to do if you don’t have any loft insulation at all. Laying down a layer of roof insulation could cost very little. On average, loft insulation for an average semi-detached house costs around £300 – and it could save you as much as £750 on your bills after 5 years and about 610kg of carbon per year!
Insulating your solid walls could cut your heating costs considerably and make your home more comfortable. If your home was built before the 1920s, its external walls are probably solid rather than cavity walls.
Solid walls have no gap, so they can’t be filled with cavity wall insulation.
Cavity walls are made of two layers with a small gap or ‘cavity’ between them and could save you as much as £165 a year in heating bills and 680kg of carbon a year.
Solid walls can be insulated, though – either from the inside or the outside. This will cost more than insulating a standard cavity wall, but the savings on your heating bills will be bigger too.
Inefficient boilers are a significant source of expensive home energy bills. Your boiler accounts for 55% of your energy bills. That’s more than the rest of your electrical appliances combined!
How old is your central heating boiler? If it’s more than ten years old, it may be time to think about replacing it with a new high-efficiency model. You could save up to £205 per year on bills by replacing an old gas boiler with a new A-rated condensing one.
Today’s central heating boilers can heat water more efficiently, meaning they use less gas or oil to do the same job. This saves energy and will save you money.
Building regulations stipulate that the new appliance must be A-rated for energy efficiency if you replace an old boiler. This means it must be at least 88% efficient (most new boilers score over 90%), and to reach this level, it will almost certainly be one of the new-style condensing boilers.
Installing solar panels can indeed be expensive, but in the long run, it’s one of the most effective things you can do to save energy at home. And with the price of solar panels being 70% cheaper today than in previous years, it’s much more affordable lately.
An average solar setup will cost you somewhere between £2,500 and £8,000 (including installation), depending on the number of panels and the size of your roof. Larger solar systems can generate as much as 4kWp, which is enough to meet the energy needs of a family of 3 to 4!
The average home loses 10% of its heat through its windows1. So when you’re thinking about making your home more energy-efficient, your windows should be one of the first places you look.
Although double-glazing can be expensive, draught-proofing can be comparatively cheap and easy and often gives immediate results.
Do this, and you could save up to £160 a year on heating bills and 80kg of carbon. And that’s not to mention the increased levels of peace and quiet you’ll enjoy.
One of the easiest ways to save on your energy bills is to find the cheapest energy deal for you. You could also use the savings to invest in making your home more energy-efficient.
Most people end up saving money when they switch their suppliers. According to Moneysupermarket.com, customers could save up to £300 per year by switching their energy company.
Windows contribute 25-30% of heating and cooling energy in your home. Your home could easily lose heat or air conditioning simply because of the type of windows you have.
Double glazed windows not only improve heating and cooling efficiency, but their reinforced material has natural benefits to increase your overall comfort. The most significant benefits to installing double glazed are related to efficiency and heat. Since these factors affect your energy bills, they’re typically the most important to homeowners.
It’s easy to overlook the little things – but enough small actions can add up to some big changes. Taking small steps such as remembering to switch off lights or TVs does make some difference, so don’t give up on changing habits like this, and try to invest in things like a water-saving showerhead and an eco-kettle. A well-insulated, energy-efficient home can not only lower your bills and boost your home’s value, but it can also lead to a cleaner, greener world for everyone.
The UK government recognised the importance of good insulation and has announced The Green Homes Grant. It’s part of their effort to reduce carbon emissions and help cut energy bills. As part of the scheme, you’ll be able to spend up to £5,000 vouchers towards making your home more energy-efficient.
You can check here to see if you’re eligible for the scheme.