General Improvements can save energy and money
Have my neighbours done this?
What is it?
Creating less wasteful energy habits
What will it save me?
Could save £200 per year depending on how wasteful you are currently
How do I get it?
You do it yourself by being more aware of how you waste energy
What does it cost?
What are the technical details?
Making physical improvements to your house can save significant amounts of energy and money, but it‘s not the only thing you can do. Changing behaviour can be just as effective and costs next to nothing. You don’t need a grant; you just need encouragement to do it.
There are some obvious ways of keeping your home warm such as
- Closing the curtains when it gets cold (almost as good as double glazing)
- Keeping the windows closed when the heating is on (don't waste heat)
- Close internal doors (this reduces draughts)
- Fit draught proofing to external doors (and the loft access hatch)
If you want to see where the heat is leaking, have a thermal imaging survey carried out to find out. Draughts are often the worst offenders so check around door and window frames and around the edges of timber suspended floors. Homes with integral garages and older loft conversions also tend to have additional areas of heat loss.
If you have a hot water cylinder, put an additional sectional jacket over it (even if it‘s got a factory fitted foam covering) and while you’re at it, insulate the hot water pipes in the airing cupboard.
Be sensible about how you use electrical appliances and lighting. Don‘t leave things switched on if you’re not using them; they can still be using energy and about 30% of fire service callouts are to deal with appliance fires. If you want to know how much energy they use, get an appliance energy meter and measure it yourself.
Fluorescent strip lights are believed by many to use less energy if you leave them on. That's completely untrue, switching even an old fluorescent strip light on only consumes about as much energy as leaving it on for 10 seconds. When you leave a room, switch the lights off to save money.
Finally, you can usually save by shopping around for your gas and electricity. This doesn't save energy but it does save money, especially the first time you switch. Energy suppliers will give a discount if you have gas and electricity from the same supplier, if you pay by monthly direct debit and receive your bills online.