Going green: How to make your home energy efficient

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The new UK housing minister, Grant Shapps, has promised to uphold labour’s target for all new homes energy efficient with a view to making all properties ‘zero-carbon’ by 2016.

He has also stressed a commitment to getting the green housing industry back on track and reducing the 27% of emissions that the country’s homes currently represent.

To meet improved energy standards, new homes will need to have insulated walls, ceilings, floors and energy efficient windows.

So, what can you do to support the Government’s pledge? How can you make your property more energy efficient?

By taking a few simple measures, you may find you save money on energy bills as well as helping the environment.

In addition to the tips below, you could also consider an eco-friendly home insurance policy. Specialist insurers can offer specific cover for green additions to your home – such as fitted solar panels. Other eco-aware insurance providers give a contribution to environmental schemes and carbon offsetting for every policy they sell.

Here are a few steps to help make your home more energy efficient.

  • Effectively insulating cavity walls, lofts, tanks and pipes can help reduce CO2 emissions as well as cutting down your energy bills. Basic draught proofing around your home can also make a big improvement. Self-adhesive foam strips can be easily and cheaply fitted around windows.
  • Energy saving double glazing could save around £140 per year in heating costs and about 720 kilograms of CO2.
  • Don’t leave appliances on stand-by, turn them off completely at the plug.
  • If buying a new appliance, choose an energy efficient model.
  • 80% of energy used in the home is for heating. Try turning down your thermostat a few notches – even if it’s just by one degree.
  • Consider switching to a high efficiency condensing boiler – they capture much more usable heat from their fuel. Replacing an old boiler with an efficient new one could reduce your energy consumption by around a third.
  • Switch lights off when leaving a room and switch to energy efficient light bulbs.
  • Try to wash at 30 degrees and only use the washing machine for full loads.
  • Only boil the amount of water you actually need when using the kettle.
  • Fix leaking hot taps and make sure they’re fully turned off.

Policy Expert

If your home is your haven, you’ll want it to have the best protection. Compare quotes from our range of handpicked insurers and tailor a policy to suit you. For more information speak to one of our experts on 0203 014 9300 or email ask@policyexpert.co.uk

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Policy Expert.