House hunters have become increasingly interested in sustainability, leading them to look for energy-efficient homes that offer green features. A new UK-wide study of prospective buyers for new homes has revealed that 61% of house buyers prioritise energy efficiency for heating and fixtures when looking for a new home. As well as this, 44% want their home to be fitted for environmentally friendly living such as food waste disposal, recycling, and renewable energy systems. The study found that 1 in 3 want their new home to be sustainably built. Read more on this here.
Whether you're a landlord, looking to sell or have just settled in to your new home, here are some ways you can make your home more energy efficient:
1) Make sure your walls and attic are well insulated
Insulation can bring the biggest benefits in terms of retaining heat in your home, reducing the need for heating. A warmer, fitted-out home can reduce the possibility of damp later on and can raise the property's value. Insulation will also make it easier to keep your home cool in the summer months.
2) Fit double (or triple glazing)
A lot of heat in a building can leak through the windows. Installing double or triple glazing might cost you more initially but energy efficient windows will save you money in the long term, plus you'll get other benefits such as reduced external noise and better protection from the outside elements..
3) Upgrade your boiler
Old boilers tend to lose a lot of heat and are less-efficient. Upgrading to a newer model means that it will be cheaper to run and you'll be kind to the environment by reducing your home's carbon dioxide emissions.
4) Draught proofing
This involves simply filling in the gaps where cold air can enter your home – think: gaps around doors, windows, loft hatches, floor boards, fittings, cracks in walls and exposed pipework.
5) Install a smart meter
Smart meters and In Home Displays (IHD) help you keep track of the energy you've used, when it was used and how much it will cost. Seeing accurate, real-time information helps to manage your energy usage cutting down on waste and saving money in the long-term.
6) Install solar panels
Solar panel electricity systems convert sunlight into electricity which is used to power household appliances and lighting. Initial installation costs may be high but they help to cut costs on electricity bills and can offer the possibility to sell any surplus energy back to your electricity supplier.