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Energy efficiency at home

Energy efficiency at home

How you could save energy

We asked the experts at Energy Saving Trust for ways to help make your home more energy efficient.

1. Use insulation to stop your heat escaping

If you’re thinking about insulation, it’s important to consider where your home loses heat and how that could change when it’s insulated. That way, you could reduce your home energy bills and carbon emissions without risking problems like increased condensation, which could lead to damp or mould. Potential places you could insulate include:

Your walls

Around a third of all the heat lost in an uninsulated home is through the walls. Insulating your walls can help make your home more energy efficient and could reduce the amount you spend on heating bills1.

If your home has solid walls made of stone or brick, you could install internal or external insulation. Before you install solid wall insulation, it’s a good idea to think about factors such as your budget, as it can cost around £12,000. 

If your home was built after 1920, it likely has cavity walls. If you’re planning on insulating these, you’ll need to look into cavity wall insulation. For more details on your wall type and whether insulation could be right for your home, visit Energy Saving Trust.

Your roof or loft

A quarter of an uninsulated home’s heat can be lost through the roof or loft2. Insulating your loft, attic or flat roof could be an effective way to reduce heat loss and your heating bills. However, there are things to consider when installing insulation, like storage space and ventilation. For more information, see Energy Saving Trust’s guide on roof and loft insulation.

Your floors

Cold feet? Your uninsulated ground floor could be to blame3. If you have an older home, you likely have suspended timber floors. By insulating under the floorboards on the ground floor, you could save around £80 a year in a typical property or up to £135 if you live in a detached house. However, it could be difficult to install if there’s no easy access to the space underneath your house.

2. Draught-proofing and glazing

Your windows

Double or triple glazing helps to reduce the amount of heat lost, and you could get designs to suit period properties if you live in a conservation area4. For more information, speak to your local planning office for advice.

Costs vary depending on the material and style. A set of A-rated windows for the average semi-detached house typically cost around £15,0005.

Your doors

You could reduce heat loss by placing draught-proofing strips around the door and letterbox, and a disc over the keyhole. For more information, read the Energy Saving Trust’s guide to draught-proofing your home.

3. Other quick tips to prevent heat loss

New windows and wall insulation aren’t an option for everyone. If you’re looking for other options, heavy curtains could help to reduce heat loss and prevent unwanted light and noise. You can insulate your pipes and fill in gaps in floorboards and skirting boards. Even a thick rug could help your home feel warmer. 

Heat your home with renewable energy

Heat pumps

These could be an alternative to your old gas boiler as they’re a low carbon heating option, but they can be expensive to install. The Energy Saving Trust has guides on what’s involved to install an air source or ground source heat pump.

Biomass boilers

Locally supplied wood logs or pellets could heat your home and water. As well as being a lower carbon option, wood-fuelled biomass boilers could save homeowners around £700 a year compared to an LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) heating system6. If you have enough space, a biomass boiler could be an option for you. However, they can be expensive to install and you'll need a local, sustainable wood supply of either logs or pellets. The amount of work they require can vary depending on the model you get, as you might need to put logs in a few times a day and remove ash every now and then. 

The UK government has a Boiler Upgrade Scheme which gives grant for people in England and Wales who want to install a heat pump or a biomass boiler. You could get a grant of up to £7,500 – for more information, visit the Energy Saving Trust website.

Did you know?

According to Energy Saving Trust, more than 80% of the homes we’ll be living in by 2050 have already been built and most of them will need major upgrades to meet required energy efficiency standards7.

With our Greener Home Reward, eligible existing Barclays residential mortgage customers can apply for up to £2,000 to help make selected home energy efficiency related improvements, with no need to apply for additional borrowing. Subject to eligibility. Terms and conditions apply.

This reward could help you with the cost of home improvements such as adding solar panels, insulation, a heat pump and much more. To find out more and register your interest, visit our Greener Home Rewards page.

All information and estimates provided by Energy Saving Trust are correct as of February 2024. Changes in the price of gas and electricity since the date of their estimates might affect the estimated savings. Cost and savings estimates vary depending on factors like where you live, the type of home you have, how it’s heated and the amount of work needed. This article isn’t advice and is for general guidance only - always do your own research before taking any action. We’re not responsible for the content of the websites mentioned in this article.

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