>> explore what makes a home more energy-efficient
Let's talk about energy-efficient homes and the smart choices you can make to reduce your energy consumption.
>> how do I know how energy-efficient my home is?Every property, whether a house or flat, should have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to find an accredited assessor who can arrange to have your property evaluated. The certificate gives you a score from A to G, where A is the most energy efficient and G is the least efficient. In most cases, a good EPC rating is anything above C. Your EPC also comes with some suggestions on how to make your home more energy efficient and therefore save money on your energy bills.
>> what are some easy ways to save energy?Even without significant changes to your property, there are some quick and easy measures you can take to live more energy efficiently.
Here are five easy steps to make your home more energy efficient and save some money:
- Use lights only where needed, and remember to turn off lights in empty rooms.
- Try energy-efficient lightbulbs, such as LED ones. They might cost more at first, but they last longer and use less energy, saving you money in the long run.
- Don't leave your devices in standby mode. Switch them off properly when not in use.
- Consider installing a smart meter, as it can help control your energy consumption even when you're not home.
- Ease down the temperature on your thermostat. Did you know that by lowering the heating temperature by just 1 degree Celsius, you may decrease your energy bills by up to 10%*
>> what features can make my home more energy-efficient?Now that we’ve looked at tips to save energy, let’s have a look at bigger projects and investments to make your house or flat “greener”.
>> generate your own energy with solar panelsSolar panels are a great alternative energy source that can help reduce your energy bills. Even on cloudy days, they produce electricity, though not quite as much. Additionally, on days when your solar panels make more energy than your home needs, the extra power can be fed back into the national grid. This also means that if your energy company offers you the Feed-in Tariff, you might even get paid for sharing the electricity your solar panels generate.
On the downside, installing solar panels can be quite costly, and you may be limited by the size and shape of your roof. Research your options first to ensure that solar panels are the most energy-efficient choice for your property.
>> choose cleaner energy with heat pumpsAnother way to decrease your energy bills is to install a heat pump, of which there are two types: ground source heat pumps and air source heat pumps. Both offer energy-efficient ways to heat your home's water. The key difference lies in where they draw their heat from. Ground source heat pumps (GSHP) gather heat from the ground, while air source heat pumps (ASHP) utilise heat from the air around them.
>> insulate your homeInsulation isn't just about staying warm; it's also a good way to keep your energy bills in check. Insulating your home is also a vital step towards having a more energy-efficient property. Different types of insulation work together to control the temperatures inside your house. These include ground floor insulation, solid and cavity wall insulation, and loft insulation.
Whether it's roof and loft insulation or ground floor insulation, you're in for energy bill savings. According to the Energy Saving Trust, by installing the recommended 27 cm of insulation, you could save approximately £35 each year on heating costs.** When it comes to loft insulation, you have three options: quilts, blown insulation, or insulation boards – choose the option that best suits your property.
>> opt for more energy-efficient windowsUpgrading your windows and doors is another way to boost your home's energy efficiency. By swapping out single-glazed windows for double or even triple-glazed ones, you accomplish two things at once: improving energy efficiency and reducing outdoor noise intrusion. If your property is a listed building and upgrading windows isn't feasible, you may have the option of installing secondary glazing. This involves adding an extra layer of glazing to your existing windows, which provides additional insulation.
>> final thoughtsWhen you choose to invest in a more eco-friendly property or upgrade specific features in your home, you'll discover a range of additional advantages – some may even be government-backed for England, Scotland and Wales, making greener choices more affordable. Beyond the immediate benefits of potentially saving money on your energy bills, such choices can lead to a reduction in your carbon emissions and might even elevate the value of your home.
Have you recently made energy-efficient changes to your home? Find out how its value has changed