Ever wondered how energy-efficient your home is? Inefficiency in households can lead to unnecessarily high energy bills, not to mention the negative impacts it can have on the environment. Finding out how efficient (or inefficient) your property is can be the first step in lowering both your bills and your carbon footprint.
In this guide, we will help you find out how energy-efficient your home is and provide you with some top tips for efficiency improvement.
How Do I Calculate My Home Energy Efficiency?
Finding out how energy-efficient your home is can provide an opportunity for you to identify areas within your home that could be improved. There are typically two ways of calculating your household’s efficiency, these are:
- Use A Home Energy Calculator
This is a quick and easy way of getting a rough idea of your home’s energy efficiency. Some websites offer home energy checks where you will be asked a few questions about your household (such as the kind of walls and windows you have) and given an estimate about your property’s energy efficiency levels .
Top tip: Look out for calculators that are featured on home improvement websites, as they can be slightly biased and designed to encourage you to use their service.
- Check Your EPC Certificate
An EPC Certificate provides official information about a property’s efficiency levels; for example, the average cost of energy usage. This is a more reliable and accurate way of finding out how efficient your property is. Every home that is being sold or rented in the UK should have a valid EPC certificate; they are graded from A (most efficient) to G(inefficient). According to the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES), all commercial properties must have a minimum efficiency rating of E.
If you own your home, it can still be beneficial for you to get a domestic EPC assessment to find out your property’s efficiency rating.
Why Are EPC Ratings Important?
EPC ratings are important as they help us identify how efficient a property is and provide suggestions on what can be done to improve efficiency. This then allows us to retrofit our properties to ensure that energy is not being used excessively, which can help to lower bills and reduce carbon emissions. If the UK is to reach its efficiency targets, we all need to ensure that we’re using energy as efficiently as possible and what better place to start than at home?
EPC ratings are particularly useful for people who are looking to rent or buy a home as they provide an insight into how much a property could cost to run. This can help them compare homes on the market and enable them to make a well-informed choice.
How Can I Improve Energy Efficiency In My Home?
Did you know that turning your appliances off standby could help you save around £35 on your annual energy bill? There are several simple changes that you can make around your home to increase energy efficiency. Below we list a few of our top tips to help reduce your household energy bills and your carbon footprint.
- Draught proofing your home is a simple, cheap, and effective way of preventing heat loss; it also makes you less reliant on your heating. Adding self-adhesive foam strips between gaps in doors and windows could help you save around £20 on your annual energy bill. Double-glazing is another way of retaining heat in your home.
- Insulating your home is an even more effective way of reducing heat loss, insulating your walls, floors and loft can help to keep more heat in your home and provide you with an opportunity to lower your heating bills. According to the Energy Saving Trust, insulating your walls could help you save around £280-£375 on your yearly energy bill, depending on the type of walls you have.
Top Tip: You could apply for the government’s Green Homes Grant scheme to get funding (up to £5,000 or £10,000) for home insulation or other efficiency improvement measures like low carbon heating.
- LEDs (Light-Emitting Diodes) are the most energy-efficient lightbulbs available and they could help you save approximately £40 on your annual energy bill. These lights last significantly longer than standard lightbulbs and they use 90% less energy – making them a great choice for any homeowner looking to save energy.
- Upgrading your appliances if they are inefficient, will save you money as older models are likely to consume an unnecessary amount of energy. Investing in appliances such as ovens, washing machines and boilers which have high energy label ratings (A+++-A) will help to keep energy wastage to a minimum in your property and reduce your energy bills.
Additionally, you should also aim to use your appliances efficiently. For example, ensuring that lightbulbs are turned off when they are not in use will help to prevent energy wastage.
- Smart meters help you monitor your energy usage in real-time and allow you to identify areas for efficiency improvement. These devices also send automatic and accurate meter readings to your energy supplier, so you’ll only ever be charged for the energy you use.
Top Tip: Smart thermostats are also available. These intelligent devices enable you to control your heating from anywhere using an interactive app– you will never have to worry about accidentally leaving the heating on again!
- Using less hot water in your home is something you should always try to do. You should aim to save hot water in particular as approximately 28% of your heating bill goes towards heating water. Investing in efficient showerheads and reducing the time you spend in the shower can help to cut costs by lowering both your water and heating bills.
- Switch energy suppliers is another effective way of lowering your energy bills. None of the forementioned tips will work to their full potential if you’re on the wrong energy tariff. Here at Love Energy Savings, we could help you find a cheaper energy deal by searching the market and selecting the most suitable and cost-effective options for your home. Simply use our free comparison tool to get a quote for the best deals; we could also help you switch to a green energy tariff to help you make your home even more energy-efficient.