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How to become more energy efficient

Green Up Your Home

Home > Help & Advice > Finance FAQs > Green Up Your Home

These days, most of us are becoming aware of our moral obligations about the preservation of our planet for future generations. It is widely accepted that if we were to continue with our current levels of energy consumption from fossil fuels, we would be on a crash course for destruction. In addition, energy companies seem to be in a never-ending cycle of price increases, and anything that you do to make your home more energy-efficient and thus environmentally friendly will save you money in the long run. Here are some ideas on becoming more energy-efficient.

The Small Things

When it comes to energy-efficiency, there are a few things you can do that won’t cost you anything at all. They are all a matter of common sense, but they can make a big difference. For example, operate a ‘one-on, one-off’ policy when it comes to lights. If you are in a room and it’s dark, you need the light on. But as soon as you move to the next room, the first light can go off. If this is always done simultaneously when you turn on the next light, you’ll soon get into the habit.

Turn off appliances that you’re not using. This may seem obvious, but if you go around your home and check, there are probably several things using electricity for no reason whatsoever. For example, do you leave your microwave plugged in when not in use? The little clock on it uses more energy than you think, and it is completely unnecessary. If you are wondering how much energy things such as lights and unused appliances are using, it is worth investing in an energy monitor.

Another thing that you can do for free that you might not think of is loft and cavity wall insulation. According to the Money Saving Expert website, energy companies are providing free loft and cavity wall insulation if yours is currently inefficient. Whilst this can be a slightly messy job, it is well worth doing as it can save you up to £300 per year on your heating bill.

If you’ve got a Bit of Money to Spend

Where heating is concerned, the first thing to do is to make sure that all of your windows are shut when it starts to get a bit chilly. This will keep the heat in. However, this is notably more effective if your double glazing is efficient and doesn’t let in drafts. If you already have good double glazing, just go round and make sure all windows and any vents are fully closed. If you don’t, double glazing your home can be a very worthwhile investment. If you are considering taking out home improvement loans, this is a good place to start. As well as saving money on your energy bill, good double glazing will add value to your house.

Another way that homeowner loans could be used to improve the energy-efficiency of your home without breaking the bank is to replace your boiler or central heating system. Many homes still have old-style boilers, and these waste energy by virtue of their inefficiency. Upgrading your boiler is the first step, and if you can afford it and your home needs it, having a more efficient central heating system installed is worthwhile. If you receive any sort of tax credits or income support, you may even be entitled to a free boiler upgrade through your energy company.

More Costly Suggestions

According to ‘This is Money’, it is possible to become entirely self-sufficient in energy. However, this is no easy feat and is not for the faint-hearted. If you are looking to save money on your bills rather than eliminate them completely, there are a number of options. Perhaps the best known is the installation of solar panels. Not only will you generate your own electricity, but any you don’t use can be sold back to the National Grid.

Surprisingly, not all of the energy-saving solutions are new. If you have enough land to grow a decent number of trees, you could install a wood burner in your house. This can then be powered by your own wood. If you plant trees every time you cut one down for fuel, this is entirely sustainable.

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