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7 Ways to reduce your energy costs (A RICS Surveyor Guide)

Updated: Jun 22, 2023




Light Bulb on Coins



Rising Costs of Energy


2022 has seen some of the steepest increases in energy costs since the 1980s. Ofgem announced an 80% rise in costs on October 1st after significant increases already occurring earlier in the year. To help with rising costs, Ofgem put the energy price guarantee in place, and this temporary measure will last until April 2024. So if you are currently on a standard variable household tariff or if your fixed deal ended around the time of the increases, there is a limit on energy costs. But with energy costs higher than ever, is there anything more you can do to improve your home's efficiency?


EPC


Finding your home's EPC rating is an excellent place to start. EPC stands for energy performance certificate. They provide an energy rating for your property if you are unfamiliar with them. The closer the rating is to A, the better and more energy efficient your home is. You may have seen the chart below:



EPC Rating A-G

Once you have your EPC score (which ranges from 1- 100 points), this gives you a starting position or score to improve. Every home is different, and in most situations, it's best to consult with a qualified surveyor before commencing significant changes to your property.


That's why we recommend a Home Survey Level 2, to get the best advice. If accessible, we can include your current EPC when surveying your property.



Becoming more efficient


1. Loft Insulation

Loft Insulation

Is your loft insulated? Loft insulation can be applied to the joists or the rafters depending on different factors in your property, such as access. If free from dampness or condensation issues, you can use mineral wool to insulate between the joists and then add a layer across them to keep in the heat. You can also consider raising the floor level and boarding once the insulation is down to give you convenient storage space.


Depending on your property type, savings can range from £590 - £330 per year.



2. Double Glazing

Family looking out of double glazing

If your property still has single-glazed windows, it's time to consider upgrading them to double-glazing. Single-glazed windows lose heat twice as fast as double-glazed alternatives.


Apart from rejuvenating the appearance of your property and adding value, double glazing can save you £105 - £155 per year. Double glazing also provides better soundproofing and will reduce condensation.



3. Replace Your Boiler

Technician working on a boiler

If your boiler is on its last legs, it might be time to consider upgrading. Putting off a boiler upgrade could cost you more in the long run. Modern boilers are more efficient, the main reason being that they are condensing. Condensing boilers recover heat from the exhaust flue gas and use that heat for central heating afterwards.



4. Insulate Your Walls

Large brick wall

Did you know uninsulated walls account for 33% of household heat loss? That's huge! Properly insulated walls can save up to £245 per year. Various methods are available depending on your property type; you may need external insulation or insulation between cavity walls. Some properties are eligible for grants towards cavity wall insulation.



5. Solar Power

Solar panels with sun in the background

The initial outlay for solar panels is expensive, but there are benefits to this efficient energy-saving option. You could save £210 - £514 per year by going solar, plus the additional power you generate and don't use, which can net you an additional £110 yearly payment. Solar power is a long-term investment due to the initial costs, so if your thinking of moving in the next 10 years, this option may not be for you.



6. Upgrade Your Lighting

LED Lighting

Swapping out older-style fluorescent lights in your home for energy-saving LED lights could make a big difference. LED bulbs use 90% less energy and improve your EPC rating.


7. Alternative Heating Source


Wood logs with a little snow on them

Traditional central heating isn't the only option. Setting up a wood burner in your home as an alternative heat source is a great way to heat the home and could save you 25% on your energy bills.


Installation


Some of the recommendations from our guide will require professional fitting and advice. We always recommend discussing any changes to your property with qualified tradesmen first. Contact us for a home survey if you need professional help and advice.

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