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Understanding energy efficiency

Energy-efficient homes are smart, cost-saving choices. If you are looking to cut down on energy consumption, here is what you need to know.

Every house or flat that’s to be let or for sale should have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating, which rates your property from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient). Any property that is rated C and above tends to be classed as more energy-efficient.

5 quick ways to save energy

Here is how to live more energy-efficiently without major property changes:
  • Only use lights when needed. Turn off lights in empty rooms.
  • Try energy-efficient lightbulbs like LEDs. They are pricier initially but last longer and save energy, making them cost-effective in the long run.
  • Avoid leaving devices in standby mode. Switch them off at the mains, or invest in smart plugs to set timers to switch off for you.
  • Consider a smart meter to control energy consumption, even when you are not home.
  • Lower your thermostat by just 1 degree Celsius. It could cut your energy bills by up to 10%*

Invest in energy-efficient features

Besides the above steps, you could consider bigger projects for a greener home. Additionally, to those below, if you have an EPC already, you’ll find that the certificate also often offers suggestions on how you can boost your home's energy efficiency.
Consider solar panels
Solar panels can lower your energy bills. They generate electricity even on cloudy days and can feed extra power back into the national grid. Your energy company might even pay you for the surplus. However, they are costly to install, and your roof's size and shape may be limiting.

Heat pumps for cleaner energy
Heat pumps, including ground source and air source types, are energy-efficient ways to heat your home's water. They draw heat from the ground or the air around your home.

Insulate your home
Insulation helps you control your house's temperature and keeps energy bills in check. Different types, including ground floor, solid and cavity wall, and loft insulation, work together for a more energy-efficient property. You could save approximately £35 each year on heating costs by installing the recommended 27 cm of insulation.

Upgrade your windows
Swapping single-glazed windows for double or even triple-glazed ones improves energy efficiency and reduces noise. If you live in a listed building where window upgrades are not possible, consider secondary glazing for additional insulation**

Investing in an eco-friendly property or upgrading your home's features offers numerous benefits. You could save on energy bills, reduce carbon emissions, and potentially increase your home's value. Some options may even be government-backed for England, Scotland and Wales, making greener choices more affordable.

Did you make energy-efficient changes to your home? Find out how much it’s worth now.