Save Money On Home Energy
Energy Performance Tips & Advice
To Help Save You MONEY
At Property Assess we love to help you save some money on your heating bills and make your home more cosy. The following guidelines can help you enormously by saving money in the long term and helping our planet by reducing your carbon footprint.
If you are serious about saving money on your annual energy bills but you need a little help with financing the work, you can now apply for the new Green Deal for your home energy improvements.
Domestic Energy Assessors have been thoroughly trained to look at your home and report our findings of the impact your home is making on our planet.
By making use of my knowledge and using some common sense, the following guidelines have been provided complimentary to our services:
Chapter 1: How You Can Save Money Straight Away
Chapter 2: It's The Small Things That Make A Difference
Chapter 3: Getting Your Home Ready For An EPC
Chapter 4: Final Thoughts
How You Can Save Money Straight Away
This short guide is designed to help you to save money on your household energy bills. In addition to these savings, you are also making a big difference in helping our planet and the emissions we are sending out there.
So, how can you save money? Well, the following bullet points are the first major steps you can take to make significant improvements to your property, some of which are very cost effective, others are not so cost effective, unless you intend to stay in your house for a number of years:-
1. If your home has a cavity wall, consider having this filled with insulation. If your home was built after 1983, chances are that it will be already filled under the building regulations that came into force in 1983. A reputable cavity wall insulation company will do a survey on your house to check if it is suitable for insulation. You can also enquire with your local council to see if a grant is available to help with the costs. The heat loss through your walls is significant and insulation will save you money on heating your home.
2. Take a look in your attic and measure the depth of the insulation. If this is under 150mm, consider adding more insulation to 300mm to help stop heat loss through your roof. This is a very cheap and easy method of insulation.
3. Fit LED light bulbs throughout the house, including your side lights and outdoor lighting. These not only save energy, but they will last up to 12 times longer than conventional bulbs. Some LED bulbs can be used with dimmer switches so choose carefully when purchasing as the prices can vary for dimmable and non dimmable LED bulbs.
4. If your heating system has a hot water cylinder, consider increasing the insulation to 75mm by adding a tight fitting jacket or even an old duvet. Again, this is a cost effective and easy method to stop heat loss from your cylinder.
5. If you have single glazing, partial double glazing or very old double glazing, it would be worth replacing your windows for the latest e-coated uPVC windows. The heat loss through windows is significant and full replacement would be a great long term benefit to your fuel bills. For listed buildings, you would need to seek an alternative solution such as secondary double glazing or go to the expense of specially manufactured window frames.
6. Your heating boiler can make a significant impact on your fuel bills and carbon footprint. If you have an old boiler, consider replacing it for a band A condensing combination boiler which will be the most energy efficient solution. Although, not so cheap to do, when replacing boilers, look for the most energy efficient system you can afford.
7. Install thermostatic radiator valves to your radiators to allow for heating to be adjusted in each room. For unused rooms, turn this valve to off or number 1.
8. A room thermostat is a great addition to your house if not already installed. By installing one of these, you can easily adjust the whole house temperature by one simple control.
9. If you have an open fire in any of your rooms, the heat loss up a chimney is significant. If you rarely use your fire/s, consider fitting a chimney balloon which is a temporary solution and stop heat loss. These can be easily removed when you use the fire. If you never use your open fire, then it would pay to put in a more permanent measure at the base of the chimney, such as a made to measure board.
10. If you are currently using electric, oil or LPG for your heating system and you have mains gas coming into the house or it is available in your street, it would pay to convert your heating system over to gas as a cost effective measure and reduce your carbon footprint. Alternatively, if you don't have gas and / or have night storage heaters, you could consider changing this to an electric boiler heating systems.
11. If you have electric heating using old Night Storage Heaters, consider updating these to fan assist Night Storage Heaters or you could consider a very energy efficient new electric radiator system from Rointe. Make sure your electric meter has economy 7.
12. If you are in a property with a loft hatch, consider either adding some draught proofing around the seal and also some extra insulation on the back of the hatch. Alternatively, you can replace this hatch with a highly energy efficient hatch which will significantly reduce any heat loss.
13. Finally, and really depending on your finances, house position and investment on your returns, you could consider installing solar PV panels for your day time electricity supply. Currently, the investment for solar energy is excellent and the return on investment is much greater than savings in a bank account.
The costs for installing solar panelling has dropped considerably over the past few years to around £6000 or less, but still can be quite a big expense. Therefore, you would need to be satisfied about your investment and how long you will be staying in your house. However, they can make a huge difference to your electricity bill, carbon footprint and you can be satisfied in the knowledge that you are generating your own electricity during the day.
Of course, there are many other suggestions I could add here such as a wind turbine, air source heat pumps, under floor heating, floor insulation or a bio mass boiler, all of which could save you money in the long run.
The aim of this guide is to be simple, quick and cost effective to help you make some simple changes you can do this weekend which will help in reducing your energy costs.
It's The Small Things That Make A Difference
You have probably heard of the old saying "look after your pennies and the pounds will look after themselves”.
Well, nothing could be truer when it comes to the small things in your home to help save some extra money on your energy bills and still make a huge difference on the impact to our global warming.
I know at first glance the following list may look ridiculous, but by getting into a habit of actually doing these suggestions, over the year, you could probably save enough money for a nice weekend away! Think about it!
1. Switch off all of your audio / visual equipment at the socket when not in use. This includes your stereo, TV, digi box, sky console, DVD player, computer & printer, games consuls, electric showers etc, etc.. Do not leave on standby as this uses electricity.
2. Switch off any lights in rooms not being used at the time.
3. If you have a thermostat on your hot water cylinder, turn this down to 60 degrees or lower.
4. Wash your clothes on a 30 degree cycle instead of 40 or 60 degrees.
5. Avoid unnecessary use of your washing machine, tumble dryer, iron or dishwasher. If you have economy 7 electric meter, then use these appliances late at night. If you have solar panels then use these appliances during the day.
6. Avoid leaving your fridge / freezer door open when not in use. I.e., when loading in shopping or whilst cooking.
7. Switch off your mobile phone charger after use. Do not leave on standby as this uses electricity. If you have a smart phone, plug this into your computer to charge whilst you are working.
8. Turn down or turn off any thermostatic radiator valves in rooms you do not use.
9. If you have a decorative gas or electric fire in the lounge or dining room, consider not using it when not needed or keeping it down very low if needed.
10. If you have a room thermostat in your hallway, turn this down a few degrees to a more comfortable level.
11. Look at any other household appliances that are often left switched on when not being used such as microwaves, electric shower on/off pull switch, electric shavers, electric toothbrushes etc..
12. And finally, adjust the on & off time on your heating / water programmer to save a few minutes during the day.
Getting Your Home Ready For An EPC
Because your home cannot fail an Energy Performance Certificate, there is no right way or wrong way to present your home for the EPC. But you can improve the results of the assessment before we arrive.
Why? Well by increasing this final result, you are not only saving money on energy bills, but demonstrating to your potential buyer / tenant that you are serious about saving energy and the more work you put in now, the better the results, the more likely you are to secure your buyer / tenant.
How? If you are considering placing your home on the market to sell or to rent out, you should consider following the suggestions in the previous 2 chapters which will help increase the final results of your energy certificate.
Any upgrade you can do now will pay dividends to your results. Just by replacing your light bulbs with LED bulbs will increase your energy performance rating, upgrading the jacket on your hot water cylinder will increase the results. Laying deeper insulation in the roof will help also.
Remember, that the more you can do to promote your home in a good light, the less opportunity a buyer / tenant has to negotiate the price!
Well, a massive thanks from me for reading this very short advice on how to save money whilst helping our environment.
I sincerely hope that you will seriously consider all or at least, some of my recommendations for improving the energy efficiency of your home. There may be more you can do to help than on this list, but it is a great way to start and to get into some good habits.
Many of the suggestions are incredibly simple to do like switching off things and changing light bulbs, so we want you to start with these right away.
The more costly recommendations will need some serious thinking about, but please do speak to your local council and seek advice about any home improvement grants you could be eligible for.
If you have enjoyed reading these tips and you know someone who would benefit from reading it, then please do let them know about my website.