Energy Saving Home Improvements (Best Ways & Grants)
In our modern world, where an eco-friendly lifestyle is not just a trend but a necessity, it’s time to rethink how we live, particularly in our homes.
We spend a considerable amount of time at home, and it can significantly contribute to our carbon footprint. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
This blog aims to guide you through the best energy-saving home improvements. We’re talking about changes that not only contribute to a greener planet but also help you save money.
So, whether you’re a new homeowner or just keen to make your existing home more energy-efficient, you’ll find some valuable nuggets of information here. Let’s dive in!
Top 9 best energy saving home improvements
There are a multitude of ways you can improve your home’s energy saving capabilities, from simple changes to more complex projects.
Here are 9 of the best energy efficiency home improvements and grants you can take advantage of:
1) Energy efficient lighting
Switching to energy-efficient lighting is one of the simplest and most effective energy saving home improvements you can make.
Traditional incandescent light bulbs consume an excessive amount of electricity and must be replaced more often than their energy-efficient alternatives.
Energy-efficient bulbs, such as Light Emitting Diode (LED) and Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL), not only use 90% less electricity but also last up to 14 years. So, not only do you save on your energy bill, but you save on replacement costs as well.
Opting for energy-efficient lighting is truly a bright idea when it comes to creating a sustainable and cost-effective home.
2) Great insulation in your loft and walls
Insulating your home’s walls and loft is a fantastic energy-saving home improvement that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Proper insulation acts like a thermal blanket for your home that maintains a consistent internal temperature, trapping heat during the winter and keeping it out during the summer.
This means less energy is required for heating and cooling, which results in significant savings on your energy bills.
In fact, a well-insulated home can reduce the cost of heating and cooling by over 40% and can last up to 30 years.
From an environmental perspective, less energy consumption means reduced carbon emissions, making insulation a crucial step towards creating a more sustainable home.
Better yet, there are a range of government grants to help upgrade existing insulation – but we’ll get to that later on in the post.
3) Install smart heat controls
Installing smart heat controls is a brilliant energy-saving home improvement, providing you with more precise control over your home’s heating system.
These intelligent devices allow you to customise your heating schedule, ensuring your home is warm when you need it to be and conserving energy when you don’t.
You can even control the heating remotely from your smartphone, meaning you’ll never waste energy heating an empty house.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, using a smart thermostat could save you up to £150 per year on your energy bills, making it a worthwhile investment for both your wallet and the environment.
4) Add draught-proofing
Draught-proofing is an essential energy-saving home improvement that is both cost-effective and straightforward to implement.
Draughts, or air leaks, can occur in various areas of your home, such as doors, windows, and fireplaces, and they can significantly impact your home’s energy efficiency.
By addressing these leaks, you can maintain a stable indoor temperature, reducing the need for excessive heating or cooling.
Not only will this result in modest savings of £50 a year on your energy bills, but it will also create a cosier and more comfortable environment in your home.
Draught-proofing is a relatively inexpensive and easy improvement, yet it offers substantial rewards in terms of energy efficiency and cost savings.
5) Install solar panels
Solar panels are a remarkable energy-saving home improvement that can significantly reduce your reliance on the main power grid, saving you money whilst also contributing to a more sustainable environment.
By harnessing the power of the sun, solar panels convert sunlight into electricity, providing a renewable and clean energy source for your home.
Despite the initial installation costs, the long-term savings on electricity bills make it a cost-effective solution.
Moreover, with the UK government’s Smart Export Guarantee, homeowners can even sell any excess electricity back to the grid, creating an additional income stream.
Embracing solar power is undeniably a bright move towards a more energy-efficient home.
6) Replace your boiler with a heat pump
Replacing your conventional boiler with a heat pump is another powerful energy-saving home improvement that can substantially lower your energy bills.
Heat pumps work by extracting heat from the environment (air, ground or water) and using it to heat your home, providing a more efficient and sustainable way of maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature.
They are effective in both warm and cold climates and can generate up to three times more heat energy than the electrical energy they consume.
While the initial investment might be higher than a traditional boiler, the substantial energy savings and potential grants available make heat pumps a cost-effective solution in the long run.
7) Replace windows and doors
Replacing old windows and doors is a highly effective energy-saving home improvement.
Old, drafty windows and doors can significantly contribute to heat loss in your home, forcing your heating system to work overtime to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures.
Modern windows and doors have enhanced insulating properties, helping to keep the warmth in during winter and the heat out during summer.
Consequently, your home’s energy consumption could decrease substantially, leading to considerable savings on your energy bills.
What’s more, this simple change can also help decrease noise pollution and improve the overall aesthetic of your home. It’s clear that investing in energy-efficient windows and doors is a win-win situation for both your wallet and the environment.
8) Upgrade windows
Upgrading your windows to double or triple glazing is a sterling energy-efficient home improvement investment, offering both immediate and long-term benefits.
Offering up to 30% more energy efficiency than standard windows, consider double or triple glazed windows to be insulation for your windows, consisting of two or three layers of glass respectively.
This structure significantly reduces the rate of heat transfer, keeping your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, and thereby minimising the need for artificial heating or cooling systems.
Additionally, these windows can help block out external noises, creating a quieter and more serene living environment.
9) Switch off energy vampires
Switching off ‘energy vampire’ appliances is a simple yet effective energy-efficient home improvement.
Many electronic devices and appliances continue to draw power even when they’re switched off or in standby mode, a phenomenon known as ‘phantom energy’ or ‘vampire power’.
This can account for up to 20% of your home’s energy use, according to recent studies.
By simply unplugging these devices when they’re not in use, or using smart power strips that cut power when devices are idle, you can significantly reduce your energy consumption.
This not only leads to noticeable savings on your energy bills, but also plays an essential part in reducing your household’s overall carbon footprint. It’s a straightforward change, but the impact on your energy efficiency can be substantial.
Grants for energy efficient home improvements
Now we’ve covered the nine key methods for energy saving home improvement, are there any government grants for energy efficient home upgrades you can take advantage of?
Of course there are! While some notable grants, such as the Green Deal Scheme are no longer available, there are more (and potentially better) options available on the 2023 market.
Let’s dive into them:
The first grant on our list is the ECO4 Scheme. Otherwise known as the fourth phase of the Energy Company Obligation Scheme, ECO4 is a government initiative aimed at improving the energy efficiency of the UK’s most vulnerable homes
The ECO4 scheme requires energy suppliers to promote measures that improve the ability of low-income and vulnerable households to heat their homes.
This includes actions such as upgrading boilers, installing loft or wall insulation, and fitting eco-friendly windows and doors.
Significantly, the ECO4 makes energy-saving home improvements more accessible and affordable, thereby contributing to a greener, more energy-efficient Britain.
Great British Insulation Scheme
Formally known as ECO Plus, the Great British Insulation Scheme is a laudable initiative aimed at enhancing the energy efficiency of homes across the UK.
Under this scheme, homeowners and landlords can receive financial support to install loft, cavity wall, or solid wall insulation.
By improving insulation, households can significantly reduce heat loss, ensuring that the home stays warm during winter and cool in the summer.
This reduction in the need for heating and cooling systems leads not only to substantial energy savings but also to a marked decrease in carbon emissions.
Therefore, the Great British Insulation Scheme represents a win-win for both the individual homeowner and the wider environment.
Boiler Upgrade Scheme
The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is another viable route for energy-efficient home improvements in the UK.
It’s a government-backed programme that offers financial incentives to homeowners who replace older, less efficient boilers with modern, energy-saving alternatives.
By upgrading an outdated boiler, homeowners can significantly cut their energy usage, thus lowering their energy bills and reducing their carbon emissions.
The scheme not only makes high-efficiency boilers more affordable but also promotes sustainable living by encouraging energy-saving home improvements.
Winter Fuel Payment
While it’s not a grant that directly affects your property’s energy efficiency, the Winter Fuel Payment is a notable source of financial aid that can help you make energy-saving home improvements.
The Winter Fuel Payment is a scheme provided by the UK government to aid those in need during the colder months.
This financial assistance, designed to help pay for heating bills, can also be used to implement energy-saving home improvements, such as investing in energy-efficient heating systems or improving insulation.
By doing so, homeowners can reduce their energy consumption, leading to lower energy bills in the long term, and contribute to a more energy-efficient and sustainable household.
Warm Home Discount Scheme
The last grant on our list is the Warm Home Discount Scheme.
The Warm Home Discount Scheme is a pivotal initiative by the UK Government to help low-income households with their winter energy costs.
Offering a one-off payment of £150 from your electricity bill between October and March, the Warm Home Discount Scheme can be used in tandem with other energy saving measures to drop the overall sum of your yearly energy bills.
Although it doesn’t directly pay for energy-saving home improvements, the Warm Home Discount Scheme can still play an essential role in decreasing your household energy costs.
Make home energy savings today
Thank you for reading our blog post on the best energy saving home improvements and the government grants for energy efficiency in 2023.
To apply for some of the UK’s leading schemes, including ECO4 and the Great British Insulation Scheme, complete our free online eligibility checker today.
We are a trusted and established provider of these government schemes and can guide you through the process of making your home more energy efficient.
Our dedicated team can guide you through every step of the process and ultimately help you save money on energy bills and make your property greener.
We look forward to helping you make energy saving home improvements today!