With the soaring cost of fuel and rising inflation, the UK has now officially entered a recession, which the Bank of England has warned will continue well into next year. With millions of households now struggling to make ends meet, it is essential to find as many ways as possible to save money. With winter fast approaching, finding ways to cut energy usage in your home is imperative.
The main reason cited for the energy bill increase is the continuing conflict in Ukraine, with the supply of gas from Russia being disrupted. On top of that, there have also been issues with Nord Stream 1, the huge pipe which transports gas from Russia to Europe, which has been undergoing maintenance. This pipe is now only working at 20 per cent capacity. As the cost of fuel is very much based on supply and demand, now the supply has been drastically reduced, the result has been an increase in the price of natural gas.
The good news is that there are definitive steps you can take to improve the energy performance of your home, reduce your bills and save money.
So, here are the 10 steps:
1. Light Bulbs
One very simple solution is to switch to more energy efficient LED light bulbs from the more traditional ones.
2. Wall Insulation
This is such an important one, as homes without wall insulation will be losing around one third of their heat through the walls alone. As most homes in the UK have cavity walls, the insulation can be fitted in the cavity. Otherwise you can have insulation fitted on the inside or outside of your walls. Doing this will save you hundreds on your energy bills every year.
3. Floor Insulation
Another great way to save around £100 per year is to have insulation fitted underneath the floorboards if you live in a house, bungalow or ground floor flat. Or for a cheaper quick-fix, you can just buy some sealant from a DIY store and fill in the gaps between the floor and the skirting board.
4. Loft Insulation
Many homes don't have enough loft insulation, and while adding to it won't save you as much money as wall or floor insulation, it is something you might be able to do yourself.
5. Heating Controls
You can have heating controls installed for around £600, but it could save you £130 or more per year. Heating controls include a thermostat, programmer and thermostatic radiator valves to make sure you are not over-heating your home.
6. Replace your Boiler
If your home has an old boiler, replacing it with a new energy efficient one is costly, but will save you hundreds per year on your energy bills.
7. Double or Triple Glazing
Another costly option, but will keep your home warmer and can save you a substantial amount if your home currently only has single-glazed windows.
8. Insulate Your Hot Water Tank and Distribution Pipes
A lot of heat can be lost through uninsulated hot water cylinders and pipes. You can buy a cylinder jacket relatively cheaply (although make sure it is at least 8cm/3 inches thick) and fit it yourself, along with foam tube which you can fit to all accessible hot water pipes. These improvements will pay for themselves in around one year.
9. Reflective Radiator Panels
For homes without wall insulation, simply placing reflective panels behind your radiators will prevent heat loss and save money.
10. Make Sure your Appliances are Energy Efficient
It might be time to invest in a new fridge-freezer, washing machine or kettle etc.
Before selling or renting your property in the UK, you are required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). An energy assessment is carried out on your home, and it is then given a rating from A (very energy efficient) to G (very inefficient). Along with the rating, you are also given advice on steps you can take to improve it. You are also told what your energy rating could be if you made these improvements, and shown cost effective ways of doing that.
When selling your home, the higher your EPC rating, the more attractive it is to potential buyers. Therefore this might be a good investment to make if you have some spare cash.
If you need advice with your EPC rating and selling your home, get in touch with Clifford Smith & Buchanan today.