Improve energy efficiency
Keep the heat in
There are some simple and effective ways to help insulate your home. This can help reduce the heat lost, keeping you warmer for longer and saving money on your energy bills. Win Win! Even small DIY measures, such as fitting a hot water cylinder with an insulation jacket can save you £20 a year in heating and 150kg of carbon dioxide. Check to see if you qualify for a home visit to install energy saving measures.
Your home may have an Energy Performance Certificate, (EPC). An EPC is a survey which ranks your property on a scale of A-G. When selling a home it is a requirement to have one so that buyers can understand a properties energy efficiency. If you are renting out your home, the law requires the EPC to show a minimum rating of E for all new tenancies and as of April 2020- all existing tenancies. If you live in a private rented home, we have more information on your rights, and landlord responsibilities in the Housing section.
You can check if your homes has an EPC on the Government website, you will need your postcode. Looking at your EPC is a great place to start when trying to understand the energy efficiency of your home, how much you may have to spend to heat your home and what could be done to improve it energy efficiency.
You lose the biggest amount of heat through your walls, by properly insulating cavity walls, you will save energy and cut costs off your heating bill.
In general, houses built from the 1990s onwards have wall insulation to keep the heat in, but if your house is older than that, it may not have any wall insulation at all.
Houses in the UK mostly have either solid walls or cavity walls:
- if your house was built after the 1920s, it is likely to have cavity walls. A cavity wall is made up of two walls with a gap in between, known as the cavity; the outer leaf is usually made of brick, and the inner layer of brick or concrete block
- pre-1920 older houses are more likely to have solid walls. A solid wall has no cavity; each wall is a single solid wall, usually made of brick or stone. This includes Park Homes.
To find what type of insulation is suitable for your home, the savings you can make and how it’s installed, please visit the Energy Saving Trust – reducing home heat loss page.
Why not see if you could be eligible for financial support or a grant for these insulation measures.
Roof and loft insulation
An uninsulated home will lose a quarter of its heat through the roof, therefore it is recommended that you have 270mm of insulation installed. This will save heat escaping and reduce your fuel bills.
To find out how much you could save, how to choose and install loft insulation, please go to the Energy Saving Trust – loft insulation page.
Older homes are more likely to have suspended timber floors, which can be insulated from underneath using various methods. Newer homes will have solid floors which can be insulated on top. Only the ground floor or floors above uninsulated spaces (e.g. a garage) need to be insulated. More information is available on the Energy Saving Trust Website.
Lighting and appliances
Lighting can be a quick win energy saving measure. LED’s and low energy lightbulbs can help save electricity. The way we use and the age of appliances we use at home can also result in higher energy bills. If your electric bill is higher than your gas (and you have gas central heating) it is likely with a few changes to your behaviour you could make big savings. A high electric bill could also be caused by an unknown appliance being left on such as an emersion heater.
Smart Meters can also help you to better understand and reduce wasted energy. To find up to date information and resources visit the Smart Energy GB website. Smart Energy GB is a government backed organisation tasked with informing Great Britain about the benefits of the smart meter rollout.