More than half (52%) of UK adults say they’re more environmentally conscious than they were pre-pandemic, according to an Aviva survey. However, in spite of this, the research also found fewer people are taking green actions, but a few big changes to your home could have a positive impact.
While a high proportion of people do things like recycling, avoiding single-use plastic and donating unwanted items to charity, improving the energy efficiency of your home can significantly reduce your carbon footprint. According to the Energy Saving Trust, 96% of UK homeowners are concerned about their home’s energy efficiency. Making some changes could help the planet, save you money in the long run and make your property more attractive to potential buyers if you plan to sell in the future.
So, what steps can you take?
1. Install smart meters
While smart meters won’t directly reduce your energy bill, they allow you to see how you use energy in your home. It can make you more aware of what you’re spending and give you the push to make changes. Did you know turning your heating down by just one degree could reduce your energy bill by 10%, for example?
Smart meters are gradually being rolled out. You can usually have them installed free of charge by getting in touch with your energy provider, making it a simple way to start improving the energy efficiency of your home.
2. Insulate your loft
Around a quarter of heat is lost through the roof of a home if the loft isn’t insulated. That’s a lot of energy and money going to waste. Insulating your loft is usually a relatively straightforward job that can start saving you money straight away. With an average cost of £300, insulating your loft will often pay for itself within a few years.
3. Upgrade your boiler
Heating accounts for around half of an average home’s energy bill, so making a change here can have a huge effect on your bills and how energy-efficient your home is. Boilers are now rated for energy efficiency, so it’s worth checking the rating of your current boiler and seeing how this compares to the most energy-efficient options. Ovo Energy estimates switching from an old gas boiler to a new A-rated condensing one could save you £205 per year.
4. Install energy-efficient windows
Windows are another place where you lose heat from your home. According to Ovo Energy, switching to energy-efficient windows could save you £160 per year, plus your home will be less draughty and quieter. Hanging thick curtains or using draught-proofing are cheaper alternatives if you don’t want to replace windows.
5. Insulate your walls
Whether you have cavity or solid walls, it is possible to insulate them to prevent heat from escaping, and so reduce your heating bill. The cost will depend on the type of walls you have and the size of your home. As well as external walls, you may also want to insulate internal walls, helping to keep your main rooms cosy.
6. Add renewable energy sources
Solar panels have become commonplace across the UK over the last ten years. They provide you with a way to generate your own energy and can significantly reduce bills. You may also be able to sell surplus energy back to the grid, cutting your bill even further. While the cost can be high initially, it may be an option worth considering. As well as solar panels, other renewable energy sources may also be suitable depending on your property, like air source heat pumps or a wind turbine.
7. Choose a green energy supplier
If you’re looking for a simple way to improve your energy efficiency, simply switching energy supplier can help. A range of suppliers provide 100% renewable energy, so you know you’re helping to reduce fossil fuel use.
It’s not just the big changes that can have a positive impact – small steps matter too. From choosing energy-efficient light bulbs to draught-proofing doors, these small actions add up.
Remortgaging to pay for home improvements
One thing you need to consider when improving the energy efficiency of your home is how you’ll pay for it. Options for funding improvements may include using your savings or remortgaging your home to borrow more, allowing you to fund energy-efficiency projects.
If you’d like to discuss remortgaging your home or even taking out a mortgage to buy a new property, please contact us. We’ll help you find the right mortgage for you and your circumstances.
Please note: This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.