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April 10, 2024

Making Home Improvements With Energy Efficiency Measures

Improving home energy efficiency is a great move for every home. There are different energy efficiency measures under the energy company obligation (eco) scheme which will reduce heating costs and so help you save money on your energy bills.

These cost-effective measures have been made more accessible to eligible UK homes by the government through different energy efficiency grants. They are initiatives to assist eligible homes cut down on heat loss, minimise their carbon footprint and reduce energy bills. This will help the government achieve its target of a net-zero carbon emissions in the UK by 2050.

energy efficiency home

Here are some of these energy saving measures you can consider for your home-

Installing Heat pumps

One of the home improvements you can make which will not only increase your home energy efficiency but also help you save money on your energy bills by reducing heating costs is installing a heat pump.

Heat pumps such as Air Source heat pumps and Ground Source heat pumps provide homes with cleaner electricity. They are also far more efficient than traditional boilers. While traditional boilers have an energy efficiency of 90% maximum, heat pumps have an energy efficiency of 300% or more. This means that for every unit of energy used, the heat pump provides at least three times more heat for the home.

According to Energy Saving Trust you can enjoy about 70% carbon reduction with a heat pump when compared with a traditional gas boiler. Heat pumps generally work in reverse to refrigerators as they take in heat from source (air or ground) and use it to provide hot water and warm homes.

You can check if your home is suitable for a heat pump here.

The UK government provides Energy Efficiency Grants of £7,500 to assist eligible households in England and Wales improve their energy efficiency through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme. You can check if you are eligible for this grant here. Dwellers in Scotland can also get an interest-free loan or a grant to make their homes more energy efficient.

You can also get a grant to replace your boiler if you live in Northern Ireland.

Generally, your home should have an Energy Performance Certificate rating of D, E, F or G. Also, you must not have had any form of central heating previously installed even if you have removed them. Your home must have space for the installation of the air source heat pump with no outstanding recommendation for cavity or loft insulation.

You also qualify if you are in receipt of any of the following means-tested benefits;

  • Pension Credit – Guarantee Credit

  • Pension Credit – Savings Credit

  • Universal Credit

  • Child Tax Credit

  • Working Tax Credit

  • Income Support

  • Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

  • Income-Based Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA)

  • Child Benefit (subject to maximum household income)

  • Housing benefit

Roof And Loft Insulation

Loft insulation is also another effective way to reduce energy bills and minimise heat loss. By installing a roof and loft insulation, you can save up to £270 a year. About a quarter of heat is lost through the roof of an uninsulated home.

The minimum recommended thickness for a loft insulation is 300mm and installation costs are between £400 and £1,200. The measure is very durable and can last for over 4 decades which means a potential total savings of up to £11,340.

You can check if you qualify for a grant to get a loft insulation through the UK government’s Great British Insulation Scheme.

Cavity Wall Insulation

Cavity wall insulation is also another energy efficient measure that could save you up to £300 a year. It is cost effective and is installed in the space or ‘cavity’ between the inner and outer walls of a property. It can be fitted in homes after the 1920s and helps to reduce heat loss from homes, thus lowering your heating costs. It can be installed quickly and costs between £1,000 and £3,000 to install. You could also enjoy a potential total savings of up to £12,600 as the measure could last up to 42 years.

energy saving measures

Other Home improvement measures include

  • Installing solar panels on your roof to generate your own renewable electricity and reduce your electricity costs.  This can save you up to £580 per year and costs between £5,000 and £8,000 and the panels could last around 25 years. This implies a potential total savings of up to £14,500.

  • Installing smart thermostats and heating controls- this can save you up to £30 annually and offers greater flexibility and control over your energy use. You can set up your home heating system and control it via a smartphone even if you are not at home.

  • Upgrade to more energy efficient appliances such as fridges, freezers, washing machines, dishwashers and TVs to save on your energy bills. For instance, when you upgrade from a C rated washing machine to an A rated one, you could reduce the energy you use to do your laundry by 25%.

  • Upgrade to double glazing to reduce cold draughts and sound pollution from outside and save up to £145 a year. It will also reduce cold draughts and sound pollution from outside

  • Install underfloor insulation to make floors feel warmer and more comfortable in your home while also helping to reduce your heating bills. With this, you can save up to £115 a year.

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