24 February, 2023

How to make your home more energy efficient long-term



Homeowners are being encouraged to make improvements around the house to save money on energy bills in the long run.


Experts from Quotezone.co.uk have identified the seven most effective ways people can increase the energy efficiency of their homes.


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Many households are struggling under the pressure of the cost-of-living crisis which has been driven by soaring energy costs.


To keep the bills down people are advised to reduce their home's energy usage through modifications like installing insulation, draught-proofing windows and doors and upgrading old boilers.


It’s also recommended that people track their energy consumption with a smart meter and compare different energy and gas suppliers to see if they can score a better deal.  A recent survey by Quotezone.co.uk showed 47% reduced their energy use with a smart meter – with 38% seeing a reduction in bills.*


Quotezone.co.uk Founder and CEO Greg Wilson said: “Saving money on energy bills starts from making simple adjustments to our everyday habits, like turning the thermostat down a few degrees or not leaving appliances on standby.


“But in order to lower your energy consumption in the long run, it’s worth considering some upfront investments in efficiency that will help future proof your home.  Some of these upgrades may be a bit more costly, but it’s certainly worth investigating and researching what government support is available.


“2022 was a very tough year for everyone, but the energy industry encountered the biggest challenges in its history and it is likely to produce a turbulent 2023.


“It’s also important to think long-term with your budgeting, with the brighter evenings and the warmer weather on the way, it’s tempting to avoid saving for those larger energy bills but spreading the costs all year round can be a relief across the winter.


“This season is the ideal time for a spring clean across all aspects of the home, plumbers and heating engineers have been in high demand during the colder months, now that spring is approaching it’s the ideal time to get a service and inspect the exterior of your property in daylight, taking steps to carry out some essentials repairs that will help protect your home and aid energy efficiency.”


Here are Quotezone.co.uk’s tips for making your home more energy efficient:


  1. Add insulation


The biggest offenders of heat loss are usually the walls (35%) and the roof (25%), if you don’t already have these well insulated then look out for support schemes to help reduce the costs of these upgrades.  Adding insulation to a house keeps the heat in during winter and out in the summer. This will help keep both heating and cooling costs down, which means more savings in your pocket. You can add insulation to external walls, ground floor, the roof and loft.


  1. Draught proof windows and doors


Draught proofing windows and doors is one of the easiest ways to reduce energy waste. It  improves insulation and cuts down on lost heat escaping through the leaks.  There are different options available when looking to draught proof a window or door, including magnetic and wiper strips, self-adhesive draught seals, and silicone sealants, which can all be fitted by yourself or by a professional.


  1. Switch to LED light bulbs


LED light bulbs are a great way to reduce energy consumption. LED light bulbs use about 75% less energy than traditional light bulbs and they also last longer, meaning that people don’t have to keep buying them or switch them out as often.


  1. Upgrade windows


Replacing single glazed windows with more energy-efficient models will help reduce the amount of heat loss during winter. Double and triple glazed windows utilise a thicker glass layer to achieve better insulation and more thermal resistance. Secondary glazing is also a good option, as you won’t need to replace the windows, and instead another slim-line window will be added to your existing windows.


  1. Install a smart meter


Around 28 million smart meters have been installed so far in GB and everyone should be offered them by the end of 2025.  Smart meters give you information about how much energy your home is using, when it's using it and how much it costs. This data can be used to make changes that can lead to savings. Homeowners can contact their energy suppliers to get a smart meter installed for free as part of a national government programme.


  1. Upgrade your boiler


About half of your annual energy costs go towards heating and hot water, so an efficient boiler is very important. New boilers use much less energy than older ones, which means they can help save a significant amount of money over time. Switching to a low carbon heating system, such as a heat pump, may be the best option because fossil fuel heating systems are likely to be phased out over time.


  1. Get solar panels


Installation of solar panels can be costly, but it is also one of the most effective ways of making your home more energy efficient. Solar panels cut down on energy costs, since the sun is a free source of energy from which we can harness solar power. Even though the weather is not great in the UK, there’s still more than enough solar energy to make the panels a good investment for your home.