If you own your own home, you can go even further when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint. As well as cutting your energy bills, making your home more energy efficient will significantly reduce your CO₂ output per year.
But is it really cost effective? Well, if you’re planning on living in your home for more than five years, you’re very likely to see a return on your investment. Some of the pricier alterations, such as adding solar panels to your roof, may take a fair bit longer to pay for themselves, however these changes tend to make the biggest dent in reducing your carbon footprint.
To highlight which energy efficient upgrades make the most financial sense and which will make your home more eco-friendly, we’ve created the following infographic which highlights the best ways to make your home more energy efficient.
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Want to know more? Here’s the breakdown of average costs and fuel bill savings you’d see when applying these energy saving upgrades to your home.
Since heat rises, if you leave your roof uninsulated, you’ll be losing a quarter of the heat your home generates through your roof. Unsurprisingly, this can have a massive impact on your energy bills, which is why loft insulation usually pays for itself in just over two years.
Installation cost: £285 – £395
Fuel bill savings per year: £135 - £240
CO₂ savings (kgCO₂/year): 550kg – 990kg
Payback time: Just over 2 years
Find out how about how to insulate your loft.
Hot water tank jacket
The cheapest and easiest way to make your home more energy efficient, putting a hot water jacket on an uninsulated tank costs a mere £15. As well as being the most cost effective upgrade, it also makes considerable CO₂ savings, so there’s no excuse not to wrap up your hot water tank.
Installation cost: £15
Fuel bill savings per year: £115 - £140
CO₂ savings (kgCO₂/year): 500 kg - 600 kg
Payback time: Less than six months
The type of wall insulation your house will need varies depending on the age of your home. Solid walls were built up to the 1930s and are recognisable by their brick pattern which features shorter end bricks between long bricks.
More modern buildings tend to have cavity walls which usually have a full length brick pattern. If your home was built in the last couple of decades, it is likely your home will already have cavity wall insulation but it’s still worth checking!
Cavity wall insulation
Installation cost: £370 - £720
Fuel bill savings per year: £105 - £275
CO₂ savings (kgCO₂/year): 430kg – 1,100kg
Payback time: 5 years or less
Solid wall insulation
Installation cost: External wall: £8,000 - £22,000
Installation cost: Internal wall: £3,500 - £14,000
Fuel bill savings per year: £175 - £455
CO₂ savings (kgCO₂/year): 720kg – 1,900kg per year
Payback time: External wall: Over 30 years
Payback time: Internal wall: Around 20 years
Solar panels are the eco-friendliest energy saving upgrade you can add to your home. The average domestic solar PV system is 4kWp and over its lifetime it can save more than 30 tonnes of CO₂. It is, however, the most expensive alternation you can make to your home, so may not be cost effective if you don’t plan to live in the same house for a long period of time.
Installation cost: £5,000 - £8,000
Fuel bill savings and Feed-in-Tariff generation income per year: £260 - £310 depending on where you live.
CO₂ savings (kgCO₂/year): 1,500 – 2000
Payback time: Just under 20 years
Older homes are more likely to have suspended timber floors which are much cheaper to insulate than solid floors. If you live in an old house with solid walls, you may want to consider insulating your floor rather than your walls. More modern buildings are likely to have solid, concrete floors, which are costlier to insulate.
Solid floor insulation
Installation cost: £950 - £2,200
Fuel bill savings per year: £40 - £90
CO₂ savings (kgCO₂/year): 150 kg - 370 kg
Payback time: Around 20 years
Suspended Timber Floor Insulation
Installation cost: £300 - £750
Fuel bill savings per year: £45 - £95
CO₂ savings (kgCO₂/year): 170kg - 380 kg
Payback time: Around 6 and a half years
Windows and Appliances
Upgrading your windows to double and triple glazing can save you a lot in energy bills, but it also offers other benefits such as reduced external noise, fewer draughts and less condensation. The cost of upgrading your windows will vary a lot depending on your window sizes, material and your installer, however the double glazing should last for over 20 years.
If double glazing isn’t in your price range, one quick fix is to put up thick curtains lined with a heavy material to reduce heat loss through your windows.
Energy efficient appliances are also something to be aware of when kitting out your home. With appliances such as fridges and freezers being left on all year round, buying a more energy efficient model could significantly reduce your energy costs.
Want to see what some of the eco-friendliest homes in the country look like? Here are five of the most energy efficient homes in the UK.