While the government is committed to reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases, such as CO2, there are things that we could be doing individually to help with this process.
Did you know, 15% of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK are from heating and other activities in domestic homes?
There are a few things that we could be doing in order to make our homes more efficient and also to save money on energy bills.
Checking your Insulation
Having good insulation in your home is very important for saving energy and money as poor insulation is responsible for 45% of heat loss. You should take a look at these three main areas of insulation:
- Cavity wall insulation – this helps to store heat within the inner walls.
- Loft insulation – this helps to minimise heat loss through convection.
- Floor insulation – this helps to reduce heat loss through the ground.
The costs of insulation will vary depending on the size of the house, but as a rough example, you should budget for £500 to £1,000. The consumer body, Which? and the Energy Saving Trust calculates that you could pay for the insulation with the reduced energy bills after five years.
Consider using Solar Power
Solar panels have become very popular over the years as they can convert sunlight into electricity. This is a great way for reducing your electricity bills and you can also sell off the excess electricity generated by your solar panels to the National Grid under the ‘Smart Export Guarantee’ tariffs scheme.
The costs of solar panels will vary depending on the size of your house, but as a general guideline, you could expect to pay £5,000 for a three-bedroom house. It’s important to remember that the amount of electricity you generate will depend on the weather and how the panels have been positioned. It’s agreed that a south-facing roof is the best seating position. As an estimate with the current rates, it may take between ten to twenty years to recoup the initial costs in electricity bill savings.
Double or Triple Glazed Windows
Double or even triple-glazed windows are great for reducing the energy bills, however, without blinds and if the windows are south-facing, it can cause overheating. Typically, double glazing windows for a three-bedroom property may cost between £5,000 and £7,000.
Opting for Low Energy Lighting
Low energy lighting is a great way to reduce energy usage, especially in the long term. Research from the Energy Saving Trust suggests that if all 28 million homes in Britain switched to all LED bulbs, we could save 1.7 million tonnes of CO2 emissions every year. It’s estimated that if you replaced all of your old bulbs with LED lights, it could cut carbon dioxide emissions by 75%.
Another great benefit of LED lights is that they last significantly longer than traditional halogen bulbs. A halogen bulb is rated to last up to two years or 2,000 hours (based on three hours of use every day). Whereas LED lights are rated to last for 10 years or longer (upwards of 10,000 hours based on similar conditions). As a rough estimate, you could be saving £2 to £3 per year if you were to switch all of your halogen bulbs to LEDs.
If you have an old boiler, it may be time to consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient and modern boiler. Modern gas boilers not only help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide being emitted, but they can also help you save money. If you were to update to a new combi boiler, it’s likely that you can make savings of between 20-30% on your gas bills. The older your boiler is, the less efficient it’s likely to be so you may want to consider upgrading.
As a rough guideline, ‘A’ rated boilers (including installation) can start from around £1,000 to £2,000.
About Stuart Mosley
Stuart Mosley (CeFA, CeMap, CLTM) founded SJ Financial Solutions in June 2005 having spent 12 years with big corporates such as Halifax and Santander. He felt the personal touch and straight speaking was missing from financial and mortgage advice services and set up SJ Financial Solutions to change this.
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