How to Make Your Home Energy Efficient
With the cost-of-living crisis expected to cause many families to choose between heating and eating this year, people are looking to find ways to save money.
Making your home energy efficient is one of the main areas to focus on, especially with the energy price cap rising again in October.
Your EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) will indicate the rating your house currently has for energy performance and our EPC guide will show you all you need to know regarding those.
Today though, we are looking at what you can do within your house to keep bills down. Some are simply changing common habits; others are investments that may see a big outlay to begin with but will save money in the long term.
How energy efficient is my home?
To see how energy efficient your home is, you can consult your EPC. It includes suggestions on how you can maximise the energy efficiency potential of your home and will display a grading between A-G. If your home shows an A rating, your home is very efficient, if it shows a G, it is the most inefficient. Each recommendation displayed on an EPC will also show the potential cost saving. Your EPC will last for ten years, if you do not have one, you can obtain one for around £50.
Energy efficient home ideas
Before we investigate the more expensive suggestions for making your home energy efficient, let’s look at some of the simple energy efficient home ideas you could implement that require a simple change of habits.
Turn down your thermostat
As we approach the summer this is less likely to be a concern but come winter, this tip can save you a fair bit of money. Put simply, the lower the thermostat, the lower the energy cost. It has been estimated that lowering by between 1-3°C can save anything from 5-15% on your bill. You could also consider a smart thermostat. This way you can control the home from your phone and therefore not waste energy. The potential saving here could be hundreds of pounds!
Do not leave items on standby
This has often been one high on lists such as these and it comes with good reason. Before the price cap was increased, leaving appliances in standby was adding an extra £30 a year to bills. That amount is now considerably higher so flick that switch to be better off.
Use a lower temperature on your washing machine
Many detergents are these days advertised stating that they can wash your clothes at 30°C, which is a selling point for the product itself but also a hidden energy saving tip. By setting your machine to this temperature you have the potential to use almost 40% less energy. To make full use of this benefit though, just make sure you have one of those detergents that can do the job.
Better still, invest in an EcoEgg and you can save on buying detergent. These revolutionary eggs can give you 70 washes with a 99.9% bacteria killing detergent.
Fill your washing machine
Sticking with washing, a full load will always be more efficient than a half load, so if you haven’t enough dirty laundry to fill the machine, hold off for a day or two. Then you’ll only need to use the machine once rather than two or three times!
Defrost your freezer
A regular defrosting of your freezer can improve its efficiency and give it a longer life. This means less outlay on bills and less outlay on appliances. An additional thing to consider is filling your fridge up. The more items within it, the less time it needs to run to remain cool. Although over stuffing it with items will cause it to work harder to chill your food. A common tip is to put some bottles of tap water within the fridge.
Wastewater is one of the biggest expenses in the home; a dripping tap or a leaking pipe can soon add to the bills. Taking a shower rather than a bath is always a good way to save money and when boiling the kettle, only fill for what you need. That way you save on water and electricity.
Energy efficient home improvements
Sometimes changing habits just isn’t enough. There are plenty of other options that can help you save even more cash but will require more of an expense to start with. Utilise these early to save more cash and potentially increase the value of your home when it comes to selling a house.
Insulating your loft can see you save hundreds of pounds a year, but it doesn’t have to stop there. Cavity walls can also benefit from being insulated which in turn saves you even more. Insulation can set you back around £350 but can sometimes cost more, depending on the size of your home.
A new boiler
Boilers are a huge expense and depending on the rating your EPC shows, the savings can be just as big. For example, if your current boiler is rated E or G, upgrading to an A-rated boiler could see you save around £400-£500 per year. You can expect to pay anywhere from £500-£2,500 for a new boiler, depending on the type you require. With a boiler life expectancy of around 10-15 years, the savings will soon come to fruition.
Assess your appliances
When you purchase a new oven, freezer, dishwasher, or any other piece of equipment, it will come with its own efficiency rating. Sometimes a simple upgrade from a C-rated product to an A can see significant energy savings. In some cases, you’ll be using 40% less.
Water saving in the shower
In 2012, a paper from the Department for Energy & Climate Change suggested water saving shower heads as one of the most important investments you could make. By mixing the water flow with air and lowering the flow rate, less energy is used and therefore less money is spent!
Solar panels are a top-level expense when it comes to energy efficiency, but they do provide the biggest savings. It has been estimated that 40% of your home energy can come from solar power. Costs for such an investment vary but you can be looking at £15,000 or more. One other huge benefit of solar is that any excess energy generated can be sold back to the National Grid.
What is a home energy efficiency scheme?
There have been several schemes set up to help people with the rising costs of energy and some rewards set for those using renewable energy. To find out if you are eligible head to the government website where a link will take you through to the various grants currently available.
In short, the current schemes are:
- Winter fuel payments
- Warm home discount
- Cold weather payments
- Renewable heat incentive
- Smart export guarantee
There may also be some localised grants available for your area.
Keeping an eye on costs is difficult at the best of times, but hopefully our guide has helped inspire you to find some ways to make savings this year. If you are looking to sell your own house perhaps for a more energy efficient one, contact us today. Our team of online estate agents can not only find you new property, but they can give you an instant valuation and also help get your current one SOLD!