Don’t wait until winter to make your home energy smart
The Government has already committed to saving UK households thousands of pounds through a new ‘Green Deal’ intended to revolutionise the energy efficiency of British properties.
A framework is currently being devised to enable private firms to offer consumers energy efficiency improvements to their homes, community spaces and businesses at no upfront cost - and to recoup payments through a charge in instalments on the energy bill.
The first Green Deals are due to appear in autumn 2012, with formal consultation currently ongoing.
In the meantime estate agents Harrison Murray are urging sellers to look at their own energy efficiency, and to tighten up where necessary before the onset of bad weather later this year.
Managing director Nick Salmon said: “Technically we are still in summer and the weather is mild, so people naturally don’t want to think about winter just yet.
“However, by putting a few measures in place now, particularly if you are looking to sell your home, then you and your buyer could be reaping the benefits of taking energy efficient action early and heading off any larger than necessary bills this winter.”
Nick added: “The coalition Government’s Green Deal initiative is an excellent one, but it still some time away from being implemented. Now is a great time for sellers to get energy smart.”
Figures from the Department of Energy & Climate Change show that a quarter of the UK’s carbon emissions come from the energy used in homes.
Here is some advice how to save energy and money:
- Check your loft insulation is thick enough and in good condition. A depth of 11 inches is recommended. Loft insulation, cavity wall insulation and double-glazing can all help protect your home and save money on heating bills. You may be eligible for a grant to help with this work.
- Bleed radiators to get rid of any air inside which may lead to increased bills if the water can’t heat up effectively.
- Turning the room thermostat down by just one degree can save around £30 a year.
- Use energy efficient light bulbs that use less energy and last up to 10 times longer than standard bulbs.
- Turn off household appliances such as microwaves, TVs, videos, music systems, and computers when not in use, as they continue to use energy when they are left on standby.
- Defrost your fridge frequently and check the door seals.
- In summer, dry your clothes outside rather than using a tumble dryer. But if you do need to dry your clothes indoors, use a clothes rail instead of a radiator as this stops the heat from reaching the rest of the room.
- If you live in a hard water area, limescale can affect the efficiency of your kettle. Look out for a buildup of limescale in your kettle and treat with vinegar or descaling solutions.
- Consider turning the thermostat on your hot water tank down to 60 degrees centigrade, which is a comfortable temperature for most people and will save on your heating costs.
- If you have a standard shower it will use around 40 per cent of the water required for a bath.