Guide to Saving Energy at Home
Take a look at our ultimate guide to reducing home energy usage and lowering your bills!
In a year where wholesale energy costs are surging, you may be thinking about reducing the energy bills in your holiday home.
Running a holiday let or investing in a second home can involve a lot of administration and is a serious financial investment for many families. With many people in the UK choosing to stay within the country for their holidays since the beginning of the pandemic, it may be time to become more energy efficient so you can enjoy more of those profits.
UK holiday bookings were up by a staggering 300% during 2021, and it shows no signs of slowing down.
However, this does mean that increased competition is squeezing harder on margins, placing pressure on those letting out their holiday home.
One of the major overheads to running a holiday let is utility bills. Whether your property is occupied or not, energy bills are going to accrue. The best way to make your holiday let a success is to ensure that your bills stay low. That is not only good for your wallet but helps to keep your emissions low which helps in the fight against climate change.
So, in a world with very high energy prices, what can you do?
When you have switched energy supplier, it is always a good idea to try to save money by reducing energy usage. There are lots of ways to reduce your holiday home’s energy consumption.
Starting off with smaller upgrades may be more cost-friendly and a great way to get started. For example, switching to LED bulbs, introducing thermal curtains and smart thermostats can help shave some cost off your annual bill.
Switching to motion sensors for your lighting and investing in appliances with a high energy efficiency rating can all give you confidence that no matter who is occupying your home your energy use will not sky-rocket.
For larger savings, you may have to invest in solar panels, new cavity wall insulation, new double glazing and look at ways to reduce heat loss.
Solar panels may even allow you to generate additional energy which you can sell back to the grid to generate additional income. This may only work effectively if your holiday home is an open area where it attracts lots of sunlight. You may be eligible for a government grant to help with the cost of installation. These investments can be costly, but they often pay for themselves within a few years.
Considering the effectiveness of your existing heating system can also be helpful. If you have an old boiler system, consider upgrading to a new, high energy rating combi boiler. They are efficient at providing hot water and heating to homes. Whatever your existing heating system, ensure that you schedule annual boiler service into your property maintenance calendar. An annual boiler service can improve the efficiency of your boiler by 15%.
Conducting an EPC survey is now a legal requirement for homes in the UK that are intended to be rented. However, regularly reviewing your EPC report is a great way to review ways you can reduce gas and electricity usage.
The report includes cost-effective ways you can improve the energy efficiency of the home. The Energy Saving Trust is also a great resource for homeowners looking for cost-effective ways to reduce spending on gas and electricity.
Search for an accredited energy surveyor in your area. Contact them directly to arrange a viewing.
Ensuring that your holiday let is properly insulated is a guaranteed way to ensure your energy costs stay low. The Energy Saving Trust has calculated that 25% of heat can be lost through the roof, with more than double lost through the walls. Heat escapes from the roof and walls of your home, meaning your boiler must work harder to keep your property warm. Mineral wool insulation is cheap and can often be installed without the need for a professional installer.
Installing double or triple glazing to your windows also helps to improve your home’s efficiency. This can be expensive, and in some properties, it may not be possible. But simple measures can also help to reduce draughts and windproof your homes, such as using heavy curtains and blocking gaps around windows and doors. Don’t forget about your hot water tank or cylinder if you have them. Ensuring they are well insulated will also help to keep your gas bills low.
Consider applying pre-set timers to your heating, radiators and air conditioning units. This will give you confidence that heating bills will not be extortionate when you have guests staying at your holiday let.
One of the most significant investments of both time and money in managing a holiday let is the laundry and cleaning expenses. This is a job that needs to be done well, as providing a hygienic environment for your visitors is essential. Nevertheless, there are ways you can minimise the energy you use and therefore keep your costs down.
When planning your holiday let, it is a good idea for the bed linen and towels you provide to all be one colour. Most hotels and other hospitality providers offer white linen and there are good reasons for this. It lets your guests see immediately that beds and towels are clean and fresh. From a management standpoint, it is also very practical for laundry. All-white linen can be washed together without needing to worry about colours bleeding, or colours fading over time.
If you choose to use a laundry or cleaning service for your guests, this will mean you can secure lower prices for their services. If you wash linen and towels yourself, it should minimise the number of washing cycles required to get your holiday let ready for the next set of guests.
By drying linen outside, rather than using a dryer, you can also reduce your energy costs. This may seem like a hassle, but as sunlight is a natural sanitiser, it makes the laundered items feel more fresh and clean.
If you have a holiday left with multiple bedrooms, you could encourage your guests to support your eco-friendly efforts by providing signs to indicate if a bed and accompanying towels have not been used. That way you can avoid re-washing clean sheets and guests often appreciate efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of their stay.
In many cases, cleaning your holiday let thoroughly can make your property more energy-efficient. An oven that has been deep cleaned will reach a set temperature more quickly, which conserves energy. It will also distribute heat in a much more efficient way compared to a dirty oven.
We know it is much more difficult to secure cheaper energy tariffs; however, with increasing costs it may still be a good idea to compare energy suppliers and choose a fixed-energy tariff.
The April 2002 price cap is predicted to increase by 51%. Whilst it may be difficult to save money in comparison to your current energy bill, your mindset should be beating the price cap in 2022. If you can secure a deal that is cheaper than the price cap, it may be a good idea to get a fixed-rate deal. Even if this means it is more expensive than your current energy bill.
When you compare energy prices, it is now more about securing the best deal possible rather than cheaper than your previous tariff. It's a hard pill to swallow, but unstable wholesale energy prices are likely to continue into 2023.
Love Energy Savings have a fantastic record in helping customers find a great value energy deal. We can also help you to find the cheapest green energy tariff from the UK’s ever-growing list of renewable energy providers.
Our customers have rated us Excellent on TrustPilot based on over 13,000 reviews. We have supported hundreds of thousands of homes across the UK to switch energy supplier thanks to our online comparison tool.
Check out the Love Energy Savings ultimate energy saving checklist before you jet off on holiday.