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A lot of people worry about how they’re going to be able to pay their energy bills during the winter months – particularly as each year it seems to get much colder. If you’re wondering how you’re going to be able to afford the latest expenses, then you might find that switching to greener and more efficient solutions for home energy uses could be the perfect solution.
Sometimes, with just a few simple measures, such as better insulation, or switching to a lower setting on the washing machine, you can begin to reduce your annual bills significantly. The sooner you begin to make these little changes, the better your overall savings might be. Here are just a few of the ways that you can begin to reduce your energy bills, and improve your carbon footprint at the same time.
1. Get Better Loft Insulation
One of the first things you can do to start upgrading your energy efficiency levels is begin to insulate your loft. Not so long ago, the department of energy and climate change found that homes spend about $500 million pumping heat throughout their home that disappears in walls and roofs. With good insulation, you could save about $200 each year on your energy bills, so make sure you think about improving your insulation as quickly as possible.
Remember that there is more than one way to insulate your home. For instance, you could insulate your doors, or hang thick curtains to make your home a little bit more of a heat trap during the winter months. You can even buy cheap insulation that can be stuck to the sides of drafty doors to reduce your energy bills.
2. Get a Better Boiler
Do you know how much a bad boiler could be adding to your annual bills? According to some experts, poor or inefficient boilers could account for about $250 in extra expenses on your energy bills. This means that a simple upgrade could be the best way to reduce what you’re spending over the long term. Upgrading your boiler is also a fantastic way to reduce your emissions from a carbon perspective, as boilers account for about 60% of the emissions in a gas-heated home.
Once you’ve switched to a better boiler, make sure that you also switch to a better energy tariff too. There are various tariffs out there to choose from, and you could use the savings that you get from your energy efficient tariff to improve your home in the long-run.
3. Use Double-Paned Windows
Another great option for people who want to improve energy efficiency in their home and reduce home costs, is to use double glazing throughout their home. Many homes today come with double-glazed windows as standard, but there are still some older homes out there that have single-glazed windows incapable of keeping in the heat.
If you don’t have double-glazing (double pane / insulated windows) in your property yet, then you might be amazed at the difference it could make to your energy bills on an annual basis. Although your initial investment for double paned windows can be high, you will find that you begin to save a lot of money in the long run. Double pane windows are also available in a range of styles, so you can maintain the overall theme of your home without any trouble at all. Make sure that you look for the energy saving logo when choosing new windows for your property.
4. Consider Fitting Solar Panels
With solar panels, you can generate some of your own power or heat, and sell some of the energy that you don’t use back to the grid too. Some panels will even warm the water in your tanks by a small amount which helps to reduce your bills overall. In some cases, you’ll be able to generate nearly half of all your home electricity use with solar power, which means that you could save a huge amount of money every year just by switching to this sustainable method.
Of course, the only problem with getting solar panels installed is that you’ll need to think about how you’re going to pay the initial expense before you get started. Though there are some grants and schemes out there that can help – there is a large upfront investment.
Working to improve your home’s energy efficiency will result in savings for years to come. It is certainly worth the effort to decrease your recurring expenses like utility bills. If you can even save $50 per month on electricity costs by pursuing several of these improvement opportunities, you can save upwards of $600 per year. That is enough to pay for the new insulation, and then it will continue to pay you dividends for years to come.
Have you looked at insulating your house better or bought into solar technology? Let me know in the comments.