5 methods to make your private home greener and get monetary savings
GOVERNMENT climate experts have announced that we need to make our homes greener in order to combat climate change. But how on earth do we do it?
Many people have good intentions to make their homes greener. Research by E.ON has shown that more than two thirds (38 percent) of homeowners have considered making their home more sustainable since the lockdown. A third say they are more interested in home solutions like solar panels than they were six months ago.
And their green intentions could be a good financial move, as further research by Effective Home (effectivehome.co.uk) shows that solar panels can add an average of £ 30,000 in value to homes.
TV presenter and architectural designer Charlie Luxton, who partnered with E.ON to show how to add value and generate sustainable energy, says, “People have spent more time at home than ever before and have inevitably become more aware of how they do it consume energy and can bring about lasting change. “
His main tip for a greener home is to first look at the simple basics like proper insulation and energy efficient appliances. Then you should install solar PV modules and combine them with battery storage. “This is a fantastic way to provide your home with sustainable, affordable energy,” he says.
Laura McGadie, group leader for energy at the Energy Saving Trust (EST, energysavingtrust.co.uk), who provides advice on energy efficiency in households, notes that households account for nearly 30 percent of the country’s total energy consumption and around 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions .
“Two thirds of households are currently below a reasonable level of energy efficiency and UK homes lose heat up to three times faster than our European counterparts,” she says. “However, there are several energy efficiency measures that homeowners can put in place to make them warmer, reduce carbon emissions and cut energy costs.”
Here are EST’s eco-friendly home improvement tips …
1. Use available grants
There are several grant programs in Ireland and the UK that aim to help make homes more sustainable and, as a result, lower bills.
In England, the government’s Green Homes Grant program (gov.uk/check-eligible-green-homes-grant) grants homeowners a grant of up to £ 10,000 towards the cost of installing one or more energy efficient improvements, including insulation or plumbing a low-carbon heating system such as an air or geothermal heat pump. It is hoped the program will help more than 600,000 households save up to £ 600 a year in energy bills.
While the Green Homes Grant does not cover boilers, in England, Scotland and Wales, funds are still available in some cases for boiler replacement under the Energy Company Obligation Program (ECO, ofgem.gov.uk/environmental-programmes/eco) Available.
In Scotland, information on available programs and grants can be found through Home Energy Scotland (homeenergyscotland.org), in Wales through the Welsh Government’s Warm Homes Nest Scheme (nest.gov.wales/en), in Northern Ireland through Northern Ireland Energy Advice ( nihe.gov.uk/Community/NI-Energy-Advice) and in the Republic by the Irish Sustainable Energy Agency (SEAI) (seai.ie/grants/home-energy-grants).
2. Get insulation
One of the first steps homeowners can take to make their home greener is checking for good insulation, according to the EST. He points out that about a third of the heat lost in an insulated house escapes through the walls. You can significantly reduce heating costs. Most houses have either solid walls that can be insulated from the inside or outside, or cavity walls that have a gap that can be filled with insulation.
A quarter of the heat in an uninsulated home is lost through the roof, explains the EST. Therefore, insulating the attic, attic or flat roof is a simple and effective way to reduce heat loss and heating costs. “Loft insulation is effective for at least 40 years and should pay for itself many times over,” emphasizes McGadie.
In addition to insulating the walls and attic, insulating the ground floor is another option. Newer homes typically have massive concrete floors on which rigid insulation can be placed. However, in older homes, hardwood floors are the most common type of flooring. EST estimates that installing insulation under floorboards on the first floor will save around £ 40 annually in heating bills.
Finally, a quick and effective measure is to insulate water tanks and hot water pipes, which will reduce heat loss and save heating of water.
3. Heat pumps for sustainable heating
Household gas boiler sales should cease by 2033 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from heating, according to UK government climate advisors.
But what do you replace your gas boiler with? Heat pumps are probably the most readily available low-carbon heating alternative to a gas boiler, and EST says they are an attractive option over the long term because they run on utility electricity that is increasingly being decarbonised. “Ultimately, they have the potential to reduce CO2 emissions from home heating to near zero,” says McGadie.
4. Low carbon boiler
Gas boilers that run on low-carbon gas and district heating that uses a combination of sustainable and low-carbon gas sources are alternative low-carbon heating systems that may become more widely available in the future, according to the EST.
5. Solar photovoltaic modules (SPVs)
Photovoltaic solar modules generate renewable electricity by converting solar energy into electricity. They are an effective way of reducing electricity costs and your carbon footprint. According to EST, there are many options available depending on the location, from panels that can be mounted on a south-sloping or flat roof, to down-to-earth panels or solar tiles.
McGadie advises, “When considering whether SPV panels are right for your home, ask yourself whether you have enough space and check with your local authority to see if any restrictions or restrictions apply.”
Further information on installing solar modules can be found on the EST solar module advisory page (energysavingtrust.org.uk/advice/solar-panels).