How to make your home more eco-friendly?

Published: 28/06/2021 By Musgrove & Co

How to make your home more eco-friendly?

Older homes are the worst offenders when it comes to carbon footprint.

Making changes in your existing home can be expensive, running into hundreds or even thousands of pounds. So how can homeowners improve their environment while keeping costs down? The Welsh government and the Energy Saving Trust have the answers to such questions.

How to make an old house eco-friendly?

Every household has the potential to save energy and reduce carbon emissions.

Laura McGadie, head of the Energy Saving Trust for UK energy, said the first step to reducing bills and carbon emissions is to control heating. For cost-effective and quick upgrades, insulate any exposed hot water pipes, as well as your hot water cylinder if you have any.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, about a third of the heat inside an insulated house is lost through walls. The majority of homes in England have solid walls, which can be insulated from the inside or outside, or cavity walls, with a gap that can be filled by insulation. By getting solid-wall insulation you can save a gas-heated, slightly separated home around 930kg of CO2 emissions per year.

How much does it cost to make your home eco-friendly?

The price of reducing the home’s carbon footprint can vary from a few pounds to get better proofing against draught or using low-energy lightbulbs, to hundreds of pounds for loft fitting or a larger investment of thousands of pounds to get renewable generation like the whole-house insulation systems.

There are schemes available to subsidize low-income households to meet the cost of home energy efficiency development, such as the Welsh Government’s Warm Homes Program.

This has resulted in more than 61,400 low-income households improving their energy efficiency at home, reducing fuel bills and CO2 emissions.

The Welsh households can also profit from England’s Energy Company Obligation Scheme, which provides low-carbon heating and insulation for low-income families.

Will it lower the bills?

The UK homes currently contribute about 22% in the CO2 emission sector, with three-quarters of this coming from heating.

According to the Welsh government, improved energy efficiency will reduce bills. It will also make buildings more affordable for current residents and more attractive to future generations.

The average households benefiting from development under the Warm Homes Program have reduced their annual domestic fuel bills by about £ 280. Smart temperature controllers offer many options for managing home heating systems. They are available for all types of heating such as electric storage heating. Some systems incorporate advanced features, such as automation, to help govern when to turn off the heat to save energy.

Houses can lose heat through space around windows and doors, floorboards, or chimneys, which often happens in older properties. Fix the spaces between skirting boards and floors with a sealant purchased at any DIY store or online.

Solar panels, also known as photovoltaics (PV), allow you to make your own renewable energy. Although a south-facing, high-pitched roof is more effective, others can still benefit. A 20-square-foot [20 sq m] roof can generate as much electricity as you require, averaged during the year, according to EST. Solar panels will usually cut the electricity bills between 15% and 35%. You can get more by selling the extra electricity back to the grid.

To increase your savings, you can install a solar-powered battery to store electricity for use in the evening.

Do I need any permission for planning?

Simple insulation and draught-proofing will not require any permission. Any major changes, such as insulation in the external, will need planning permission. You can get planning permission from your local council. You will also need to inform your insurers.

There are limits on solar panels to minimize the impact on the appearance of the building and the beauty of the area.

Panels for listed buildings require planning permission and may require an application for listed building consent.

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