Improving the energy efficiency of your home is not only good for the environment, but it saves money too. There are several easy-to-implement steps you can take to cut energy costs and according to the Energy Saving Trust, the average home could save around £250 per year.
One of the easiest ways to save on energy is to compare gas and electricity prices and when appropriate, switch tariff or supplier to ensure that you are receiving the best deal. This can be done online, where you can choose from hundreds of different tariffs. Simply enter a few details about your energy consumption and then compare results with your current bills.
Also, some of the easiest measures can often be overlooked as trivial but can really add up to a significant improvement. The lights in your home can account for as much as one-fifth of your electricity bill, so remember to turn them off when not in use and use energy-saving bulbs (traditional bulbs are now being phased out). These bulbs may cost a little more, but they last twelve times longer and are therefore better for both your wallet and the environment.
Controlling the temperature of your home with room thermostats, radiator valves and timers can ensure your home remains at a comfortable temperature without wasting heat. This, again, saves money on heating bills and also reduces carbon dioxide output. Turning down your thermostat by a barely noticeable one degree Celsius is enough to make a saving on your bill over the course of the year.
Ensuring you have an energy-efficient boiler is one of the most significant steps you can take to reduce your energy bills. Installing a modern A-rated boiler can trim up to a third off the average heating bill and if you install a model with heating controls the savings increase even further.
Household appliances provide another opportunity to improve energy efficiency. When buying new appliances look for their energy rating and try to choose a model that has the Energy Efficiency Recommended logo. Leaving appliances such as TVs on standby can expend the same amount of energy as when they are in full use. Try to adopt the habit of switching off anything that's not in use.
A well-insulated home will help to prevent the loss of heat through walls and loft space, saving on heating costs. Depending on your circumstances and where you live, there may be grants available to assist with home insulation. Most of the heat loss in your home occurs through the walls, which is why cavity wall insulation will typically pay for itself within five years.
Solar panels are becoming increasingly popular as a greener way to supply electricity. They have decreased in cost in recent years and are relatively easy to obtain and fit. The design of solar panels has been streamlined and they can now be fitted onto roofs so discreetly that they are barely noticeable.
Although some methods of increasing energy efficiency have a cost attached to them, the long-term benefits for both the environment and in reducing energy bills outweigh this initial spend. Even the measures that are completely free to implement can have a significant impact on your home.