Going Green: Improve the energy efficiency of your home

There’s an old adage that the greenest and cheapest energy is the energy you don’t use. So it might come as a surprise to find out the vast majority of people – two thirds in fact – aren’t making energy improvements to their homes to save themselves money and use less energy.
Make sure your home is energy efficient. Photo: AdobeMake sure your home is energy efficient. Photo: Adobe
Make sure your home is energy efficient. Photo: Adobe

New research from Energy UK and One Home polled both home owners and renters to see who are making crucial home improvements and what’s stopping others from making energy efficiency changes. The results are staggering and a bit disheartening considering how much energy bills have risen and how some very little changes can yield big results and not only save money but help the planet too.

The main reason those surveyed said they hadn’t taken steps to improve their home energy efficiency was that they couldn’t afford the upfront costs. While 35 percent of those surveyed used cost as their reason, 28 percent said their home didn’t need any improvement. A further 23 percent said they were renting so couldn’t make significant changes with a combined 21 percent saying they either weren’t sure it was worth the investment or they didn’t know enough about what the options were.

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The issue is, that even though energy costs have gone slightly down from the staggeringly high costs of 2022, there’s no longer any Government support for most bill payers so most households have still got energy bills that are double the pre-crisis levels

Dishearteningly, the main take away from this survey is that people are telling us they’re not investing to make their homes warmer and cosier because they don’t believe energy efficiency is worthwhile financially.

But we know the opposite is true.

Simple measures, such as draft proofing and hot water cylinder jackets can pay back in less than a year and they cost pounds to implement.

Loft insulation in a typical home pays back in three years. Even if you plan to sell your house, insulation will improve the EPC value and therefore the value of your home so energy efficiency measures are always worthwhile to cut costs and carbon.

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Not heating empty rooms is free, bleeding your radiators to make them more efficient is free. Closing the curtains in the evening when it gets dark to keep in heat is free.

Lowering your thermostat by just one degree can save you around £00 a year .

I’ve talked before about heating the person not the home and that’s another way to save money. An electric blanket uses as little as 3 pence of energy per hour even when it’s on the highest setting.

While the survey results do make for difficult reading, it’s always worth doing what your budget can stretch to when it comes to energy efficiency because it’ll always save you money in the long run. If you own your home and can afford loft insulation, cavity wall insulation and even under floor insulation, you’ll save yourself a lot of money over the years and you’ll boost the value of your home. If you’re renting, draft excluders by doors will save you money and they’re something you can take with you when you move.

Wherever you live, whatever your circumstances and whatever your budget improving the energy efficiency of your space will never be a waste, both for your wallet and the planet as it all adds up