Making your home more energy efficient isn’t just good for the environment, but can shear hundreds of pounds from your annual spend on gas and electricity.
How to check if your home is energy efficient
The Energy Savings Trust has a Home Energy Check, a free 10 minute check-up to assess your home’s energy performance, and what improvements you could make to save more energy and reduce your bills.
Energy upgrades and installations
The government are keen to encourage a higher take-up of energy-efficient upgrades and you may find grants available for some of these below:
- Insulation - Houses and flats get cold through the walls, so installing cavity wall insulation can prevent much of the heat loss. Don’t forget lofts too, as the roof can be responsible for around 25% of the heat lost. The recommended depth for loft insulation is 25-27cms.
- Boiler upgrades - Boilers take up 55-60% of our annual energy bills. If you have an old and inefficient boiler, switching to a modern A-rated high-efficiency, condensing gas boiler with room thermostats and full controls can cut up to £570 a year and also cut your home’s carbon dioxide emissions.
- Solar panels - Possibly the most popular form of renewable energy, solar panels is energy harnessed from the sun rather than taken from the electricity grid. The panels can cost a sizeable initial outlay but the long-term benefits are invariably lower energy bills and an eco-friendly home.
- Ground source heat pumps - Another form of renewable energy, these take heat from the ground filtered through pipes under the floor. Very popular in South Korea.
- Draught-proof your windows and doors - Double or triple-glazed windows built since 2002 are unlikely to need it as they should have a FENSA certificate, but properties with many older fittings may save significant amounts of energy from this.
Use less energy: things you can do
- Switch to eco-friendly bulbs - Energy-saving or LED light bulbs use much less energy and should last for up to ten times as long, thus being cheaper in the long run despite costing more upfront.
- Avoid using stand-by - TVs and game consoles especially can cost as much in electricity as in use if left on stand-by. It could save £30 a year if you switch off appliances at the plug. Other than things set to timer, like a TV box or a washing machine, it shouldn’t have any effect on your settings.
- Kitchen savings - The Energy Saving Trust recommends using a bowl to wash up, not overfilling kettles and cutting one washing load a week, to save enough energy to cut £30 a year from your bills.
- Choose energy-efficient white goods - Look out for A, A+ or A++ energy ratings on fridges, TVs or washing machines before you buy.
Monitor the energy you use
- Smart meters - By communicating directly with your energy supplier, meter readings are instantly sent digitally as you use it, which ensure more accurate energy bills.
- Energy monitors - A device that can show you your power consumption in real time, what time of days and which appliances are costing you more, often from a smartphone app. It can usually show you how much gas and electricity you’ve used in the past hour, week, and month. Monitors like those should cost around £25-30.
Check if an Economy 7 meter can help you make further savings on your energy bills.
How to take part in The Telegraph Energy Club
If you also feel that you are paying too much for the energy you use and want to join a collective energy switch, here’s what to do:
It takes just a few minutes to register your interest to join our cheaper energy club, and compare the whole of the market, with The telegraph Energy Club. Once we have secured a winning tariff, we will contact you with details of a no-obligation offer to switch energy providers.
- Spending more time at home can result in energy bills rising - Switch now and you could save up to £641*
*10% of customers switching their gas and electricity bills with the Telegraph Switching Service and Energy Club between 1 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 saved £641 or more.
The above article was created for Telegraph Financial Solutions, a member of The Telegraph Media Group. For more information on Telegraph Financial Solutions click here.
Information correct at date of publication.