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How To Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

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By Author: Andrew MacKenzie
Total Articles: 2
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QUICK WINS
Make sure you fully understand your energy bills. Make sure you are doing everything possible to save energy but attempt at least 3 of the following tips:

Instead of leaving appliances on standby, turn them off.
Do one less household wash per week
Instead of using the dishwasher when it’s not full, consider using a bowl and hot soapy water for dishes
Only put enough water in the kettle that you are going to use each time you boil it
Change your shower head to a water efficient one and/or spend less time in the shower
Draught proof windows and doors to prevent heat escaping (you don’t have to splash out, try a rolled-up towel as a draught excluder and silicon to reseal draughty windows)
Turn your thermostat down 1 or 2 degrees & consider installing smart heating controls
Don’t heat the whole house, just the rooms you’re planning to use
Replace regular light bulbs with energy saving ones
Turn off lights in rooms you’re not in
INSULATION
Insulating your home properly is a good long-term investment for reducing the heat that escapes from your house, saving your energy consumption and lowering your heating bills.

LIGHTING
Lighting typically accounts for 15% of a household’s electricity bill. You can cut your lighting bill and energy use by changing to energy saving LED bulbs. The most popular light bulbs available are halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Although they can initially cost more than traditional incandescent bulbs, during their lifetime they save you money, because they use less energy.

RENEWABLE ENERGY
SOLAR PANELS
Solar panels use energy from the sun to create electrical power, which you can connect up to your home’s main electricity supply.

Panels are likely to set you back between £5,000 and £8,000, and according to the Energy Saving Trust

In Scotland you should be able to generate around 3,200 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year.

When solar panels first because popular, you used to be able to earn a little bit of income from them but as they’ve become more popular, the amount the government give you back as reduced. you’ll also have peace of mind knowing you’re producing your own renewable energy and are reducing your carbon footprint

WIND ENERGY
wind turbines harness the power of the wind so it can be used to produce electricity. This would ideal for home owners with a bit of land. the only cost to you is to get the turbine installed, but once you’ve done this, it should generate more than enough power to make all your electrical appliances and lights work. The cost of installation of a wind turbine can set you back between around £3,000 for a roof-mounted one or pole mounted systems can cost anything between £10-30K. As with solar panels, you will receive a tariff from the government for each kWh of electricity generated by your turbine. Find out more about wind turbines at Renewable UK.

HEAT PUMPS
Heat pumps extract heat from the ground or air, supplying you with heating and hot water. You should be able to cover the £7,000 to £11,000 cost of fitting one in around five to seven years of savings and running costs will depend on how warm you want your home to be, how big it is, and how well insulated it is. You’ll still have to pay electricity bills because heat pumps are powered by electricity, but your savings will come from the fuel you are replacing.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, if you’re replacing a non-condensing gas system with a heat pump then typical fuel bill savings are in the region of £335 to £495 a year, or from £70 to £100 a year if you’re replacing a condensing gas system.

BOILER UPGRADE
Heating accounts for around 55% of what you spend in a year on energy bills, so an efficient boiler makes a big difference.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, if you replace your old model with an A-rated boiler and set of heating controls (you can even operate it remotely via an app on your phone) you could save about £340 and 1,500kg of carbon monoxide a year.

WINDOWS AND DOORS
An average home loses 10% of its heat through windows and doors. Good, energy efficient glazing reduces this heat loss, keeps the home warmer and reduces heating bills. It can also make the home quieter. Double-glazed windows have two sheets of glass with a gap between them which is usually 16mm wide. It’s the gap that creates an insulating barrier to slow down the rate at which heat escapes from the home. Triple-glazed windows are now also available which have three sheets of glass, and therefore two insulating gaps, to provide even better insulation.

EPCS (ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATE’S)
The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is required when selling or renting a property and includes a rating given to the property on a scale of A to G. It measures the quality of the property’s energy efficiency and includes recommendations on ways a property can be improved to cut fuel bills, improve efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.

An EPC is part of a Scottish Home Report and is required when selling a property in Scotland.

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