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How to make your home more energy efficient

Younity blog | Dec 2022

Warm home in hands

Reducing your energy bills is on everyone’s mind at the moment

Thankfully, there are many actions you can take to ensure your home is more energy efficient and reduce your energy bills. In this time of record high energy prices, it’s important we do all we can so, here’s a few ideas to make your home more energy efficient.

Heating and controls

Did you know that reducing you boiler flow temperature can save you around £100 per year? This action won’t reduce the temperature of your home but will increase the time it takes for your home to reach the target temperature on your thermostat. Find out how to reduce your flow temperature by following Nesta’s simple guide.

Turning down radiators when they aren’t in use can also save you approximately £70 per year. Radiator reflective panels can also generate energy savings, particularly on external walls.  

These tips alongside advice on ‘heating the person and not the space’ can certainly make a dent in your energy usage and costs.

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Doors and windows

Not every improvement nowadays has to be some form of fancy technology that will magically transform your home, sometimes it’s best to look at the simple stuff to see where you can make small changes to keep your home warmer and more energy efficient. Look at purchasing draught excluders for your doors to ensure no cold air can be let through, you’d be amazed at the difference these little gaps can make. Look at replacing the caulk on your windows for the same reason or add energy efficient window coverings (which can save on its own approximately £60 per year). These small, low-cost changes can make a big difference and mean you can hold off turning your heating on for a short while longer each night. If you choose to replace your doors or windows to improve energy efficiency, make sure you look out for the energy star or NFRC labels.

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Energy efficient bulbs

Another simple change you can implement quickly is ensuring all your bulbs in your home are energy efficient LEDs. Usually, you’d think that changing your bulbs is just for lamps and other standard lighting units, however it’s important to think about changing bulbs in ovens and outdoor lights too. As well as saving the environment, these bulbs utilise less energy which in turn saves you cash, it all adds up.

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Insulation around the home

Especially in older homes, a lack of insulation can lead to a large energy loss and increased energy costs. Correct insulation throughout your home can pay for itself over time as it ensures that no energy is wasted trying to heat a home. Full insulation of a home can include floor, loft and wall insulation and means that when your heating is turned on, it works as efficiently as possible. Insulation can be expensive, but you can do this a bit at a time. The energy saving trust suggests starting with your walls, especially if you have cavity walls as these are the most prone to big gaps, and then move onto your roof. Proper insulation can save you hundreds of pounds per year if done properly!

Energy use in the kitchen

We spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking, washing, making hot drinks and all these activities use energy. Make sure you only fill the kettle with the amount of water you need and if you only have a few dishes why not wash them in the sink rather than turning on the dishwasher or using a running tap? If you need to use the dishwasher, make sure it’s fully loaded and use the Eco setting. Similarly switch the washing machine to wash at 30 degrees and always make sure it’s full. If the weather allows, line dry your clothes rather than turning on the tumble dryer

By turning off the tap when you wash the dishes and waiting for a full load of laundry before putting on the washing machine you could save £30 off your annual energy bill.

There has been much in the news about cooking appliances and obvious energy savings by using microwaves and air-fryers instead of ovens. If oven use is necessary, then batch-cooking or maximising the amount of food to be cooked in one go makes sense.

Keeping an eye on your consumption levels can help you decide if and when you have to change the way you use your energy. Smart Meters help you track your consumption with accurate and real time’s guide to Smart meters tells you all you need to know.

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Little tips can go a long way

Energy efficiency is all about trying to do more with less, ensuring that you make the most of what you’ve got, cutting costs, and reducing your carbon footprint at the same time. There are plenty of little things you can do that mean your energy efficiency improves. We won’t bore you with other obvious ones like hot water bottles and wearing more layers to reduce your heating usage, but we will suggest that you turn all your lights off when not in use and also utilise public spaces to do work/ your gym to shower (if possible!). All of these reduce the amount of energy used in your home and therefore reduce bills, something we could all use right now!

Renewable energy sources

With the cost of living increasing daily and the energy crisis in full swing, there have to be alternatives to increase energy efficiency for the whole nation and not just the odd household. For too long we’ve relied heavily on expensive fossil fuels, and in a time of high gas prices and fuel poverty, a solution has to be found. . We need more renewables produced locally at speed.

We need to ensure each household in the community is as energy efficient as possible and less reliant on imported fossil fuels. To help move the dial and take climate action, find you your local community energy group here and join the movement…

What is community energy?

It’s important we act now if we want to create a sustainable future. Community energy is a solution that ensures energy is owned and produced by the local community, all while producing energy through renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and water. The revenue from the sources goes straight towards community initiatives to directly improve community aspects surrounding nature, education and much more.

Read our blogs 'What is Community Energy?’ and ‘Everything you need to know about Community Energy’ to find out more.