It’s no surprise that certain eco-friendly home improvements can help you cut costs on energy bills. But where’s a good place to start, and what energy-efficient modifications make a big difference? We look at some facts and stats from the Energy Saving Trust and other studies to see the benefits of saving carbon and making certain green improvements.
How to cut costs on energy bills
Draught-proof your home
Professional draught-proofing reduces household carbon emissions by 220kg
One of the most simple and effective ways to reduce your energy consumption is to seal off gaps that are causing draughts around your home. Look at your windows, doors, skirting boards, and areas around your floors. There are different types of sealant and draught-excluders that can help you save carbon and energy, and ultimately, cut costs on energy bills. Just make sure you have the right level of ventilation in your home to avoid condensation and mould.
New windows and doors
A-rated double glazing could reduce your annual carbon emissions by 335kg
Homes can lose a lot of heat through an old front door, especially if it’s made from wood and certain areas have split, causing gaps. Replacing old wooden or PVC windows and doors with double-glazing could provide you with a cosier home and a lower heating bill. There are various styles to suit different periods of home. Go for A-rated double glazing for full benefit.
Upgrade roof insulation
Poorly insulated homes can lead to 40% heat loss
Most houses will have some sort of loft insulation, but when did you last check yours? Insulation materials degrade over time, and new technology means that modern insulation materials tend to work much better too. By topping up your loft insulation to at least 270mm in depth, you could save money and enjoy a warmer home. You might be able to install this without a tradesperson; there are various types of insulation material available in DIY stores.
Consider wall insulation
Insulating wall cavities could reduce carbon footprint by 670kg
Depending on the type of building you live in, you might be able to upgrade your wall insulation. If you have cavity walls, this is a simple process where insulation material such as foam or fibers is injected into the wall cavity. If you live in an older building with solid walls, you could add thermal lining and rendering to insulate your home. Similar to our above point about ventilation, heritage homes might need a certain level of breathability to prevent dampness.
Switch to LED lighting
An LED bulb lasts 10,000 hours for 10 years
LED lighting is highly versatile and can save you a lot of money in the long run. The EU banned the import and production of halogen bulbs, so the chances are you’re already using LED lighting around your home. But it’s worth checking to see if you have any old halogen bulbs, as replacing them could lead to a big cost saving.
Here are three facts from the Energy Saving Trust about LED light bulbs:
- 15% of a typical household electricity bill is due to lighting.
- £2 – 3 per bulb – this is the average saving you will make when you switch to LED bulbs.
- Every time you switch from a halogen bulb to an LED, you save around 5kg of carbon emissions.
Install solar panels
Solar panels could reduce your annual carbon footprint by 750kg
Solar panels are still a very efficient solution when it comes to major green improvements. Depending on your property, you may even generate enough energy to sell back into the grid over time. Solar panels are made of semi-conductive material that converts direct sunlight into a flow of electricity. In strong sunlight, a solar panel can generate around 355W of energy, and an average system usually contains around 15 panels using 25m2 of space.
Swap boiler for a heat pump
Air source heat pumps could reduce your annual carbon emissions by 6,000kg
Swapping your boiler with an air source heat pump or a similar technology will become a necessity by 2025 when gas and oil burner installation will be banned from all new homes. The average price of an air source heat pump is around £10,000, and you will have to look at your central heating design too. But this is a very sustainable, long-term heating solution.
There are various ways to make your home more energy-efficient, which do not have to cost the Earth. And you can do most of the above modifications without the help of a tradesperson. Bear in mind that if you haven’t taken advantage of smaller, eco-friendly home improvements, then you won’t get the full benefit of any renewable technologies.
Would you benefit from a financial review to help plan your eco-friendly home improvements? Get in touch with our independent financial planning team.