As energy prices steadily increase many of us are looking for ways to use less energy to help both the environment, and our pockets. If you are planning home renovations it is the perfect time to choose the most eco-friendly, energy-saving options, however there are also plenty of ways to improve your existing home. Here are our Top 10 updates to start saving you money (and the planet!).
1. Install a Smart Meter
A smart meter will show you how much energy you are using in real time, making it easy to manage your energy usage and see which appliances are using the most. Having a smart meter is the first step for any household looking to save money and be more environmentally friendly.
2. Switch to LED lightbulbs
Replacing your existing bulbs with energy-efficient, eco-friendly LED lightbulbs could save you up to £70 per year on average! LEDs need just 12 Watts to achieve the same brightness as a normal lightbulb using 60 Watts. They also last much, much longer as they don’t burn out like normal bulbs (10+ years, with some even boasting 25!) saving you even more money in the long run. Not only are you using less energy, you are contributing to less waste.
3. Invest in a Smart Thermostat/Lighting
Using a smart thermostat and lighting can make a huge difference to energy usage. It will automatically monitor the temperature based on your preferences, so you don’t have the heating on any longer than necessary, and can be turned on and off remotely if you know your’e not going to be home. Smart lighting that allows you to turn lights on and off automatically/remotely can also save a fortune; to put it in perspective, a single light left on overnight for a year can cost a whopping £280*.
4. Draft Proofing
Going round your property and filling in any gaps or cracks in the external walls, windows or doors will stop heat escaping and the cold coming in. The draftier your home, the more expensive your heating will be as you are effectively trying to heat outside too.
5. Check and Upgrade your Insulation
The recommended thickness for loft insulation is 270mm. Upgrading your insulation can save the average home up to £315 per year!
Top Tip: Natural insulation such as sheep’s wool, wood fibre, hemp and recycled newspaper are all good options.
6. Insulate Under Floorboards
If you have timber floors you could save up to £40 per year by insulating your ground floor, and any upper floors that are above unheated spaces such as garages.
Top Tip: Make sure you don’t block any air vents or bricks and any work complies with building regulations.
7. Switch to A+++/A rated Appliances
Appliances are tested for how much energy they use and given a rating on a scale of A to G, with A being the best (some appliances use an older scale with A+++ being the most efficient). Choosing energy efficient appliances and turning them off at the wall (don’t leave them on standby!) can save most households at least £35 per year.
Top Tip: When buying new appliances keep an eye out for their energy labels, which will tell you how much energy that appliance uses compared to similar appliances!
8. Upgrade Your Glazing
If you have anything lower than double glazing upgrading is a must, however if you require new windows or are planning a home renovations, triple glazing is your best choice! Triple glazing is 40% more thermally efficient than even the best double-glazing.
9. Maximise South-Facing Windows
When planning renovations be mindful of the positioning of your windows. Maximising south-facing windows not only brings plenty of light into your home, but due to the greenhouse effect it will help keep your home warm naturally during winter!
Top Tip: Install drop down shades/blinds to block the high summer sun and avoid overheating!
10. Solar Panels
Solar panels are definitely a bigger investment short term, but long term the benefits to the environment, and your pocket, are great. Not only will you be generating your own power, you will be using green energy!