How to cut your energy costs
When selling your home you are required to provide an Energy Performance Certificate. This rates your property in terms of energy efficiency. With the relentless rise of energy costs and peoples growing awareness of the environmental impact they have, reducing energy consumption at home and improving your property’s efficiency rating has never been more important. Here are some tips on what action you can take.
Reduce Energy Consumption
Make a concerted effort to use less. Many households have their central heating set higher than they need it, and by reducing this by a couple of degrees you can save around £120 a year on your heating bill. The same goes for lights and electrical appliances. Always turn your lights, appliances and chargers off when you’re not using them.
Be careful with how you use your kitchen appliances. By setting your washing machine to wash at 30°C, only use your tumble dryer when you can’t dry your clothes outside, just boiling the kettle with the amount of water you need – not filling it up, you can save around £50 a year. It all adds up.
Energy Saving Equipment
Let’s start with the energy saving light bulb. These have been around for some time now and are a great way to save energy and money. They should be mandatory throughout your house, and check out the latest spec bulbs that are super efficient and last for years.
A shower that takes water straight from your boiler can be fit with a water-efficient shower head. These cut your hot water use. The cost is around £27 and a family of four will save around £72 a year on water heating and another £78 on water bills if they have a water meter.
Heat reflectors for radiators are a relatively new and inexpensive way to improve energy efficiency. They work by reflecting heat from the rear of the radiator back into the room. 95% of the heat energy radiated from the rear of the radiator is deflected back into the room. Go to http://www.radflek.com/
for more information.
There is now an abundance of energy saving gadgets on the market. So shop around as most are relatively inexpensive and will eventually pay for themselves through the energy cost saving. Try sites: http://www.nigelsecostore.com
for more ideas.
Making Your Home Energy Efficient.
There are four main ways you can improve your homes energy efficiency rating
The Roof & Walls
The Energy Saving Trust
roof and wall insulation
energy efficient windows
installing an energy efficient heating system.
suggests that uninsulated houses lose a quarter of heat through the roof. An average three-bed semi could save up to £145 a year by fitting standard DIY store bought roof insulation.
The walls also are a huge area for heat loss. Most houses built after the 1930’s will have wall cavities. By insulating properly you can save around £120 a year on bills. A professional installer can do this by filling the gap between the two layers of external wall with insulating foam. This costs around £500. Older houses without this cavity will require insulating boards attached to internal walls, or cladding / render on external walls. This process is not cheap, costing: around £8,500 for an average house, but saving can up to £385 a year. You may be eligible for grants that will reduce the cost of r both these processes. Check out the government initiative: http://www.greendealinitiative.co.uk
Draught proofing throughout your home – doors, windows, letter boxes, etc – will greatly improve the efficiency rating too. The Energy Saving Trust also suggests it’s one of the cheapest and most efficient ways to save energy at home. Plugging all the gaps yourself should cost around £100, or £200 if you employ someone to do it, and will save on average £25 a year on bills.
A draughty window is a huge energy loss black spot. Good double glazing will cut this heat loss by half- a £140 a year off your bill. Energy Saving Trust recommends always using a registered installer – http://www.fensa.co.uk/
can help. Secondary glazing is a cheaper alternative. It’s not quite as effective but can be used as temporary measure during the colder months. A cheaper option still is plastic film, fixed to your window with tape and shrunk to fit with a hairdryer. You can do this yourself – kits start at around £6.
Finally, consider an A-rated energy-efficient condensing boiler. Your boiler accounts for nearly two thirds of energy spend a year. By having a modern high spec model you could be saving £230 a year on bills. A new boiler will cost you around £2,500.
Need an EPC? Find an accredited and CRB checked Domestic Energy Assessor in your area.