10 Energy Saving Tips to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
As we approach winter, it is important for everyone to learn some energy-saving tips to cut the cost of soaring bills. Even the small things we did not pay attention to before, such as leaving our electronics on standby and only using the dishwasher once it is full, are considered a pastime as we scramble to save the pennies.
Best ways to save money on your energy bills
This may sound like an impossible task right now, but there are ways you can save money on your energy bills. From energy-efficient home improvements and cutting down on your daily use of hot water, here are 10 areas to explore:
1. Look at your energy provider
See where cutbacks can be made. If your provider charges for paper bills, then go paperless. Switch to a monthly direct debit instead of paying your bill once it is calculated. Raise any issues with direct debit payments if you believe they are too high. Also, if you do not have a smart meter in place, be sure to send accurate and regular meter readings.
2. Replace the boiler
Installing an efficient boiler in your home will make a huge difference to your energy bills. This is because more than half of your energy is made up of hot water and heating. Replacing a gas or oil boiler can cost anywhere between £1,500 - £5,000. But, in the long term, it will help to reduce your annual energy costs.
According to Energy Saving Trust, an average mid-terraced house in England, Wales and Scotland could save an estimated £445 per year. This saving comes after a new A-rated condensing boiler with a room thermostat, programmer and thermostatic radiator controls (TRVs) has been fitted. A semi-detached house would gain an estimated £310 annual savings, a detached house at £275 and a detached bungalow at £250. For LPG (liquid petroleum gas) and gas boilers, be sure to check it is Gas Safe Registered. Oil boilers must be fitted by someone who is OFTEC registered.
3. Prevent heat loss
Focus on certain areas such as doors, fireplaces, floorboards and loft hatches to draught-proof your home. Old-fashioned draught excluders for the bottom of your doors will do the trick, along with some draught-proofing strips for around the edges. Draught-proofing foam strips are ideal to retain heat in loft hatches. Plus, pick up a silicone-based sealant that is flexible for the floorboards.
4. Apply for energy grants
There are a few grant schemes which are set in place to help out with paying energy bills. The government’s Winter Fuel Payment will award between £250 - £600 for applicants born on or before 25th September 1956. This includes a ‘Pensioner Cost of Living Payment’ worth between £150 - £300. If you receive a State Pension or another benefit such as Universal Credit, you will automatically receive this payment. For those who need to make a claim, the deadline is 31st March 2023.
The Warm Home Discount Scheme could give you £150 off your electricity bill if you are living on a low income. Money is paid directly to your supplier between October 2022 and March 2023. Financial help with your boiler upgrade could also be possible under the government’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme. If you live in either England or Wales and own your home, you will be eligible for a grant of up to £5,000 or £6,000 to install a new energy-efficient boiler. The installer will apply on your behalf and the grant total will be deducted from the final bill.
5. Invest in home insulation
Recent figures from the Energy Saving Trust suggest the average detached home can save up to £590 a year by laying loft insulation. With this in mind, you will likely gain the additional cost back after the first two to three years. This makes insulation a viable long-term investment.
Insulating walls can be a tad more expensive. But whether you are getting cavity wall insulation or solid wall insulation, annual savings on your energy bills could be anywhere from £230 - £930 per year. This will depend on the type of house or flat you live in. Solid walls can be insulated from either the outside or inside of your home. But cavity walls will need to be insulated by a professional, who will drill holes from the outside, inject insulation and then seal the holes with cement.
6. Buy energy-efficient appliances
If you are looking for new home appliances, now is the time to make a conscious decision and buy energy-efficient brands. When you are searching the Internet or your local shops for new appliances, look out for their energy rating. The energy rating scale is from A-G, with A as the most energy efficient and G as the least. You may find some appliances will use A+++ as the most efficient label. It is important to consider the size of an appliance. Two A-rated fridge freezers which are different sizes will use different amounts of electricity.
7. Upgrade your heating system
Installing an efficient heating system, such as thermostatic radiator valves in your home, will make a significant difference to your energy bills. It is more affordable than replacing your boiler and you can gain control of when to turn your heating and hot water on and off. When the heating is on, you can set the temperature to a certain part of the house. If you just have a single thermostat for the whole property, Energy Saving Trust predicts that your heating bill will increase by 10% for every degree it is turned up.
Even turning on an electric heater for short periods will help keep your energy bills down. For smart home enthusiasts, a smart thermostat is what you will need. From your smartphone or computer, you can manage the heating in your home room by room, with the addition of smart thermostatic radiator valves.
8. Cut down on hot water
Simple enough, but those who love a piping hot morning shower should think about turning the temperature down a notch or two. If your home has a hot water tank, be sure to only heat the amount of water you will need during the day. Also, high-powered shower heads can use significantly more water than running a bath in the space of five minutes.
Consider taking shorter showers or investing in an eco shower head. This combines air and hot water to make a shower feel powerful without wasting a lot of water. When it comes to washing your clothes, try using a 30°C cycle to cut down on energy. Also, when you are making a cup of tea, only boil as much water as you need.
9. Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs
Switching your light bulbs to LED alternatives can save you money and the amount of electricity you are using. For example, Energy Saving Trust predicts that if you were to change an incandescent 100-watt bulb to an LED bulb, you would save around £15 a year. An average LED bulb that uses 90% less energy than a traditional bulb, will set you back about £3 each and will last longer than traditional ones.
10. Replace or insulate windows
Approximately 10% of heat in the average home is lost through windows. So when making your home more energy efficient, windows should be a top priority. The window energy rating from most energy efficient to least is A++ to E. Whether you decide on double-glazing, which uses two glass sheets with a gap of around 16mm, there is a significant cost attached. Triple-glazed windows use three glass sheets and two gaps.
Energy Saving Trust predicts that a semi-detached home with new A-rated windows will cost an estimated £7,500. It is a lot of money, but a long-term investment. Before you go ahead, it is best to check with your authority to find out whether you would need to submit a planning application.
You also do not have to replace your current windows to make a difference. Products are available to help insulate your home without spending thousands of pounds. Self-adhesive foam strips can help keep the heat indoors and are easy to install. But they will need replacing on a regular basis.
Quality insulation materials are available at Building Materials Nationwide
If you are a keen DIYer or an industry professional looking for thermal insulation or acoustic insulation, Building Materials Nationwide can supply all the materials you need. You will also find a wide range of insulation and energy-efficient products on our website to help you save as much money as possible. If you work in construction, our trade accounts are the perfect solution to manage the materials you need to buy. Your Trade Account Manager can help you source all the products you need and arrange the delivery. Sign up for a trade account to get started or give our team a call to learn more.