Becoming more energy efficient is good for the environment and great for saving money. This guide to making your home more energy efficient involves some large projects that will need planning and initial investment, but if you're committed to doing your part for the Earth, then you'll want to look at completing at least a couple of these tasks. You'll also see your bills drop, which is always a plus!
New appliances are generally more efficient and upgrading (your boiler especially) will help reduce costs at home. Appliances now come with an energy label that clearly states its efficiency (A+++ being the best) as well as the wattage required to run the appliance and other information. Running costs aren’t purely dependent on efficiency however: a more efficient but bigger fridge for example will cost more to run that smaller, less efficient fridge. Don’t buy a massive fridge just because you like the look of it, buy the size you need. A full freezer uses less electricity than an empty one, and low energy televisions, lightbulbs, kettles and smart meters will all help reduce your costs. Make sure you dispose of your old appliances responsibly, in store or at a recycling point.
If you insulate your loft and walls, you will save masses on your heating bill, even with the initial pay-out. Up to a quarter of all energy lost in your house is through the roof, and up to a third vanishes through badly insulated walls. Loft insulation consists of laying down a thick barrier that comes in various materials. You might need to prepare your loft for insulation and if you aren’t sure, consult a professional. As for wall insulation, most homes built after 1990 have this as standard. For older houses cavity walls are easier to insulate, but again, it’s probably best to consult a professional.
Even in Britain with our weather, solar panels save money. These panels, also known as photovoltaics (PV), capture the sun’s energy even on cloudy days. You might need planning permission and you’ll want a south facing roof for maximum capture. After purchase and installation, you’ll make money with reduced bills and payments from the government. And it’s environmentally friendly. What’s not to like? Another install that will reduce heat loss and bills is double glazing your windows. It’s a big job, but worth doing.
Adding a porch to your front and/or back door will save money in the long run by containing heat loss enormously. It will also raise the ambient temperature in your home in winter by keeping drafts on the outside. Stabilising the temperature in your home will cut your fuel bills enormously.
If you want more instant action on energy consumption, see our guide on simple life hacks that will save you money every day. Adopt a few of these, and you’ll see your fuel bills drop and your sense of general wellness improve almost immediately!