We all want to save energy at home, but when winter comes around we can find ourselves using more energy than we’d like. Put into practice our 10 energy saving tips for homeowners and landlords, and you’ll be able to save money. In many cases, you’ll even make things cosier while doing so!
How to save energy
Here are some of our most effective energy-saving tips:
1. Invest in a new boiler
One of our top tips is to invest in a new boiler. A new condensing combi boiler is required to be at least 90% energy efficient, whereas your old, non-condensing model might be less than 50% energy efficient.
2. Get insulated
How much heat are you losing through your roof, walls and floorboards? Insulating your home is one of the best things you can do to save on your energy bills. Although there is an initial outlay, the long-term benefits can’t be beaten when it comes to preventing heat loss. As well as protecting your home against the cold, insulation will help keep it cool in the summer months. Overall, you’ll save money on energy bills, reduce your energy consumption and therefore also your CO2 emissions.
3. Draught-proof your home
Besides the major heat-loss culprits above, heat escapes via tiny gaps in window and door frames, your loft hatch, letter box, skirting boards, chimneys and fireplaces. Check out our guide to draught-proofing your home so you can eliminate those subtle little losses that add up to a lot.
4. Invest in new windows
If you’re looking for a high-impact home improvement project, window replacement is near the top of the list. Installing new windows can upgrade the look of your home at the same time as making it more energy efficient. This is obviously quite an investment – on Everest’s website, for example, they quote the average price for new windows as being anything between £500 and £3,200 per window, depending on the features you want. A feature you can count on with new windows, of course, is improved energy efficiency.
5. Switch energy supplier
Are you paying too much for your gas or electricity? It pays to stay abreast of the market rate for your particular amount of energy use – and to switch energy suppliers whenever it’s prudent to do so. If you’re still on a standard tariff, which is usually the most expensive one, switching could potentially save hundreds of pounds a year.
6. Get a smart meter
Getting a meter is smart because it gives you the facts about your energy spending in cold, hard pounds and pence. A smart meter will allow you to track your energy usage over time and see the true effects of cutting down.
7. Stay away from standby
Almost all electronics can be switched off at the plug without you messing up their settings – and this way you can save about £35 a year. Buy a ‘standby saver’ and it lets you switch everything off standby in one go. (NB. Keep satellite or digital TV recorders plugged in if you’ve programmed them to record your favourite TV shows!)
8. Save water
It’s not just about heat and light energy – by saving water you can reduce your bill significantly. Switching to a water-saving showerhead can cut your water usage in the shower by up to 50%, by either regulating the flow or aerating the water.
Other top tips to cut down on your water consumption include:
- Using a washing up bowl
- Turning off the tap when you brush your teeth
- Cutting back dishwasher and washing machine use (only put it on when you have a full load)
9. Use alternate power sources
If you can provide some of your home’s energy needs by using renewable energy, you’re solving the problem at the source. Options include:
- Solar panels
You’ll shell out a lot for solar panels initially, but they last for around 25 years, which makes them worth the investment for many people. They can dramatically reduce your bills – and what’s not to like about converting the free energy from the sun into electricity for your home?
- Air source heat pump
An air source heat pump uses energy from the outside air to heat your home, which is a very energy-efficient method that is easy to maintain.
- Ground source heat pump
Ground source heat pumps need a little electricity to run, but they generate much more energy than they use. Initial installation costs can be high, but they can save you between £500 and £1,400 a year.
10. Upgrade to LED lighting
Did you know that LED lights use at least 75 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs? This can add up to great savings on energy bills all year round — especially if your Christmas tree lights are also LED.
We’re here to help
If part of your energy-saving plan is to install a new boiler or one-off repair, we have knowledgeable teams on standby to help you. Check out our different home emergency insurance covers to find out what’s covered, whether you’re a homeowner or a landlord.
How can we save energy in winter?
The biggest energy-saving gains can be achieved through insulating your walls, roof and your lowest floor, along with (cheaply) draught proofing your windows, doors and floorboards.
What are 5 tips for saving energy at home?
1. Upgrade to LED lighting
2. Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth
3. Cut your shower time by 1 minute
4. Switch all your appliances off standby
5. Get a smart meter