Invest in Your Property to Reduce Energy Consumption
As the nights draw in, the thoughts soon head towards the inevitable question – ‘when to switch the heating on?’ With rocketing energy prices over the last couple of years, that suddenly becomes a more expensive question to answer, so we’ve highlighted a few areas where choice investment in your home may help you save money in the long run, and could even make it more attractive to buyers when you come to sell it on.
Poor insulation leads to 45 per cent of heat loss1. Cavity wall insulation stores heat within inner walls, while loft insulation sits between the joists in the roof space. It’s also with considering floor insulation too.
The costs of insulating a home can vary widely dependant upon the size of the property and other elements such as how it has been built all affecting the final costs. The Energy Savings Trust estimate a cost of between £8,500-£12,000 to fully insulate the average three-bedroom semi-detached house2 – so it’s not a cheap undertaking by any stretch of the imagination, however according to their findings, the resultant savings in energy bills can soon help to mitigate this expense within just a few years2.
Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity and can be a way of reducing your electricity bills by selling electricity generated by your panels to the National Grid under the Smart Export Guarantee tariffs scheme3.
Depending on the size of your roof and the number of panels you have, prices can start from £5,000 for a three-bedroom house, according to the Federation of Master Builders. However, effective capture of solar energy depends on the weather and the siting of the panels, with the optimum placing being on a south-facing roof. It can take some time for the investment in solar panels to re-coup itself, however with energy bills presently being at a high level, the current rate is approximately between 7-9 years4.
New gas boilers are due to be illegal by 2035, and the Government are instead offering a £7,500 subsidy for those choosing to fit heat pumps to properties5.
However, the downside is that the high average cost of installing a heat pump can be off-putting – with latest data suggesting that it can cost between £7k-£15k to fit an air source heat pump, and between £17k-£35k to fit a ground source heat pump to the average home6.
Double or triple glazing will help cut energy bills but, without blinds and particularly if the windows are south facing, double glazing can magnify the effect of sunshine and cause overheating.
Double glazing a typical three-bedroom home today is likely to cost around £11,050 on average, according to research by The Eco Experts, however it’s also estimated to save around £195 a year on heating bills, as well as added benefits from an increased security and reduced noise perspective too7.
Low energy lighting
According to research from the Energy Saving Trust, if all 28 million homes in Britain switched to 100% LED bulbs, we could save 1.7 million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually. Replacing every bulb in a typical house with LED lights could cut carbon dioxide emissions by 75 per cent8.
A traditional halogen bulb lasts around two years or 2000 hours, based on three hours’ daily use. An LED under similar conditions lasts 10,000 hours upwards, for 10 years or longer. You can save £2 to £3 per year for every traditional halogen bulb you switch to a similarly bright LED bulb8.
Upgrading a boiler
Modern gas boilers can save you money, particularly if you have an older model, as well as reduce the amount of CO2 emitted. Upgrading to a new modern combi boiler is likely to save you between 20-35% on your gas bills. The older the boiler, the less efficient it will be, so a new one can start to instantly repay your costs by reducing heating costs immediately. ‘A’ rated boilers, including installation, can start from £1,000-£2,000.9
- Energy Savings Trust (2023) Solid Wall Insulation. Available at: https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/advice/solid-wall-insulation/ (Accessed 19 Oct 2023)
- This is Money (2023) What you need to know about professional home insulation. Available at: https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bills/article-11658317/How-does-wall-loft-insulation-cost-guide-making-house-warmer-cutting-bills.html (Accessed 19 Oct 2023)
- Ofgem (2023) Smart Export Guarantee. Available at: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/environmental-and-social-schemes/smart-export-guarantee-seg (Accessed 19 Oct 2023)
- Federation of Master Builders (2023) Cost of solar panels in the UK. Available at: https://www.fmb.org.uk/homepicks/solar-panels/cost-of-solar-panels/ (Accessed 19 Oct 2023)
- Gov.UK (2023) Apply for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/apply-boiler-upgrade-scheme/what-you-can-get (Accessed 19 Oct 2023)
- The Eco Experts (2023) Heat Pump Costs UK 2023. Available at: https://www.theecoexperts.co.uk/heat-pumps/cost-guide (Accessed 19 Oct 2023)
- The Eco Experts (2023) Double Glazed Window Costs 2023. Available at: https://www.theecoexperts.co.uk/windows/double-glazing-costs (Accessed 19 Oct 2023)
- Energy Saving Trust (2023) Getting the best out of your LED lighting. Available at: https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/getting-best-out-your-led-lighting/ (Accessed 19 Oct 2023)
- Heatable (2023) How to reduce your gas bill. Available at: https://heatable.co.uk/boiler-advice/how-to-reduce-your-gas-bill-tricks-to-save-as-much-as-350-a-year (Accessed 19 Oct 2023)
All the information in this article is correct as of the publish date 26th October 2023. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. The information provided in this article, including text, graphics and images does not, and is not intended to, substitute advice; instead, all information, content and materials available in this article are for general informational purposes only. Information in this article may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information.