How to make your home energy efficient for less

Jan 31st 2019

When it comes to your home, it pays to go green according to the results of a new survey by Smart Energy GB, the campaign for a smarter Britain. Over two-fifths (41 per cent) of Brits said they would pay more for an energy efficient home – with 15 per cent saying they would spend at least 10 per cent more.

Property guru Phil Spencer believes this is a trend which will only continue – as the nation puts an increasingly higher premium on being green. While many of these efficiency measures require significant upfront investment, there are many small things you can do to lower your energy consumption and keep your bills in check. The top most common ‘green’ items which homes already have installed include:

•  Energy saving light bulbs (69 per cent)
•  Double glazing (65 per cent)
•  A recently serviced boiler (47 per cent)
•  Efficient shower head (25 per cent)
•  Draught proofing installed around doors and windows (20 per cent)

There are plenty of other efficiency measures which can also help reduce your energy consumption without requiring a big investment – from smart heating controls, which only turn the heat on when you are home, to a one cup kettle. Smart meters – which are installed by your energy supplier at no extra cost – are a simple way to keep track of your energy bills. They show how you in pounds and pence, how much your consumption is costing. The research also revealed the most desirable green investments, including:

•  A new roof (54 per cent)
•  A newly replaced boiler (53 per cent)
•  Cavity wall insulation (45 per cent)
•  Underfloor heating (39 per cent)
•  Ground source heat pump (33 per cent)
•  Air source heat pump (28 per cent)
•  An energy storage system (28 per cent)

Generational differences
The research found that millennials put a higher value on making sure their home is energy efficient, as the most likely (51 per cent) to pay a premium for a home which benefits the environment and reduces bills. This is compared to around four in ten of both their Gen X3and Baby Boomer4counterparts (38 per cent and 41 per cent respectively).

Baby Boomers are more likely to have energy efficiency measures installed in their homes, with 84 per cent having energy-saving light bulbs installed, compared to around a half (54 per cent) of those aged 18-24. Furthermore, three quarters (78 per cent) of Baby Boomers have double glazing, compared to 54 per cent of 18-24-year-olds.

Property expert, Phil Spencer, commented: “As a long-time supporter of taking steps to help the environment, it’s great to see a growing awareness of the importance of making your property energy efficient and that it’s starting to have an impact on the price of the property. You don’t need a small fortune to start making effective changes though. Installing draught proofing to stop heat escaping outside the house, switching to energy saving lightbulbs, for example.”

However, there is still some way to go in educating people about the benefits of energy efficient homes: the research revealed 48 per cent of Brits have not heard of Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) – a key way of determining the likely energy efficiency of a property for prospective renters and buyers.