Instant Valuation

How to make your home more energy efficient

Energy-efficiency is becoming more and more important in today's society, and in the quest to waste less, save yourself some money and help care for the planet, there’s plenty that can be done.

1. Insulate your roof

Poorly insulated roofs and walls can be a major cause of energy wastage. But with decent loft insulation, you could save between £120 and £225 a year, depending on the type of property you have and where you live, according to the Energy Saving Trust.

2. Insulate your walls

Whether you’ve got cavity or solid walls, filling them with wall insulation could be a very cost-effective way to retain heat in your home and save on your energy bills. 

Around one third of the heat loss from most homes is through the walls – but cavity wall insulation could save you as much as £165 a year in heating bills, and 680kg of carbon a year. 

Whether you live in a 1-bedroom flat or a large detached house, you’ll likely recover the installation costs in 5 years or less. That’s purely down to the yearly energy bill savings you’ll make by having a properly insulated home.

If your walls are made of stronger stuff, solid wall insulation can have an even more dramatic impact. That’s because solid walls let twice as much heat escape as cavity walls. And while solid wall insulation can be a more expensive undertaking (depending whether you choose internal or external wall insulation), it’s worth remembering that the savings on your heating bills will also be bigger. In fact, you could save as much as £260 on annual bills and 930kg of carbon a year. 

3. Draught-proof your windows

Insulating your windows is perhaps the easiest and most instantly rewarding way of energy-proofing your home. In winter, a draughty room is far from comfortable, no matter how high your heating is cranked up – so it makes sense to invest in some energy-efficient double-glazed windows. 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.

4. Upgrade your boiler

Inefficient boilers are a major source of expensive home energy bills. Your boiler actually accounts for 55% of your energy bills. That’s more than the rest of your electrical appliances combined! And when they use more energy than they need to run, that’s yet another unnecessary source of excess carbon sneaking its way into the world. 

Boilers are becoming more energy efficient all the time – so if you haven’t had a new boiler within the last 10 years, consider replacing it with a newer model. What’s in it for you? You could actually save up to £205 per year on bills by replacing an old gas boiler with a new A-rated condensing one. 

Plus, switching to a newer or different boiler could be better suited to your home and how you heat it. If you want to install underfloor heating, for instance, a modern condensing boiler will get the best results.

5. Install solar panels

There’s no denying that installing solar panels can 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 actually much more affordable lately.

These days, an average solar set-up will cost somewhere between £2,500 and £8,000 (including installation3), depending on the number of panels and the size of your roof. 

Larger solar systems can actually generate as much as 4kWp, which is enough to meet the energy needs of a family of 3 to 4!

And in more good news, there’s new support available to help you pay for energy-efficient upgrades at home, in the form of the Green Homes Grant scheme:

The Green Homes Grant Scheme

In recognition of the importance of good insulation, the UK government has recently 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 of vouchers on a myriad of improvements, including:

Loft and floor insulation

More efficient boilers 

Air source heat pumps

Energy-efficient lighting

Double or triple glazed windows

Energy-efficient doors

Check to see if you’re eligible for this brand new scheme.

6. Switch to a better energy plan

One of the easiest ways to cut down your energy bills is to find a better deal – ideally with an energy company that offers renewable energy. With the right deal, not only will you help to lower your bills, but you’ll also be burning through far fewer fossil fuels, which is a win-win for both you and the environment.

7. Keep an eye on the little things

It’s easy to overlook the little things  – but enough small actions can add up to some big changes. So don’t forget to do things like turn off lights when you leave a room, and invest in things like a water-saving shower head and an eco-kettle.

It's also a good idea to bleed your radiators once a year, so they're working as efficiently as possible.

Even something as simple as turning down the thermostat a degree or 2 can work wonders at reducing your bills without too much impact on your home’s overall temperature.