The cost of many common household bills is skyrocketing, and none more so than the cost of energy. Both electricity and natural gas prices are on the rise, and in the coming years, many households in the UK are going to struggle to make the ends meet in the face of these price hikes.
Here are six home improvements that can help. A penny saved is a penny earned. With these handy home upgrades, you may be able to do both.
Home Solar Panels
This is possibly the biggest money-saving and potentially money-earning home improvement on our list. Installing home solar comes with many benefits, but the most important one is the huge reduction you will see in your energy bills.
This upgrade pays for itself over time and can even start earning you some money if you sell excess energy you have generated to the national grid. Look at these reviews for the best solar panels from the Federation of Master Builders if you want to know more about how much solar panels cost in the UK. With the proper installation and software to back it up, having solar panels on your roof can be very profitable.
The biggest myth about solar panels is they need a clear sky and a sunny day to generate power. Even on an overcast day, solar panels can still generate enough electricity to supply an energy-conscious home.
A bright day will generate more electricity, but all they need is some light to start harnessing the power of the sun and powering your home. Pair panels with home battery storage and you may find yourself relying on mainstream electricity supply less and less.
Energy-Efficient Windows And Doors
This has long been one of the top home improvements if you want to live a greener life. Huge amounts of heat are lost through windows and doors in every home. This heat has to be replaced to keep your home warm, pushing your hot water boiler harder and burning more fuel.
This upgrade is quick and simple, with most installations taking less than a day to complete. They are also a high-value home improvement, being relatively inexpensive when balanced with the energy savings they offer. Energy-efficient windows and doors also help add to your property value and are a highly desirable feature among potential buyers. This will help you to sell quickly when the time comes.
The most common type of energy-efficient windows and doors uses double-glazed UPVc panels to help keep the heat in, and they are built to fit the space perfectly, so there are no gaps or drafts. Newer developments are seeing triple and even quadruple glazed windows that use both recycled plastics and insulation material to up their green credentials even further and save even more money.
Greener Home Appliances
This is not a home improvement in a traditional sense, but any new piece of equipment in the home that helps cut down on bills and provides the family with some new features is definitely an improvement. The appliances we use in our home, like the oven, fridge, or one of the numerous televisions, all use energy, and the older models are incredibly energy inefficient.
Switching to newer appliances that consume less energy can require a lot of investment, especially if you go through every room in the home and look for ageing tech to replace. The benefits are immediate though, and they will help pay for themselves with a reduction in every energy bill.
You will be surprised at home much energy even a small appliance will use when it is not operating. Keeping the clock on your microwave alight can cost as much as £3 a month, and the running costs increase the more you use it. Make savings straight away by turning appliances off at the plug and never leave a television on ‘standby’. This can cost you more than a hundred pounds a year across multiple TVs.
Modern Home Insulation
Home heating is one of the biggest bills in any household budget. Most home heating is powered by natural gas, and the wholesale price of this precious fossil fuel is continuously rising, putting huge pressure on the bank balances of the average family.
Every home should have insulation to help keep the heat in and the cold out. Many have ageing insulation that is made from older and energy inefficient materials. Poorly installed insulation will cost homeowners money too.
If the heat has a way to leak out and into the outdoors, it will find it. If your house has outdated insulation that has been incorrectly installed or disturbed over time, you could be paying hundreds of extra pounds in heating bills that you don’t need to.
Modern insulation is made from recycled materials, a welcome green bonus, and is much more energy-efficient than the insulation made ten or more years ago. It is cheap to buy too, and there are often grants available from local and national governments as well as energy companies to help any home get better insulated and save money as well as the planet.
Better Bathroom Fixtures
Water is an extremely precious resource that is becoming more expensive every year. The average person in the UK uses around 142 litres of water a day.
This staggering figure means that a home with four people will consume more than 500 litres each and every day, pushing up their bills every year by a considerable amount. The good news is that with some simple additions to taps, toilets, and showers, every home can cut down its water bill and protect this precious resource.
The toilets of a home are responsible for about 30% of its water use. They use litres of water to make a flush, and they all add up over the day. Installing low-flow toilets can help reduce this consumption by half and provide their users with different flush options. Number one, for number ones, uses a lot less water to flush the bowl and refresh the water inside. A number two flush takes care of solids by using a little extra water but still considerably less than a standard toilet.
If you do decide to switch to a modern toilet in your bathrooms, look for the WaterSense label. These toilets use around a third of the amount of water to flush as a standard toilet, massively reducing your home’s water consumption and your bill.
Switch To A Heat Pump
This is the latest tech in home heating and looks like it will become a standard issue in the homes of the future. Rather than boiling water and pumping it through pipes and radiators in a home, heat pumps heat the air and use ducts to pump it through every room in the house.
This type of heating system is incredibly energy-efficient and uses electricity as a power source rather than natural gas. This makes it cheaper right off the bat but also creates an opportunity to use home solar power generation and home battery storage to power your heat through the evening. This can take one of the biggest bills in the house completely off the balance sheet.
As bills continue to rise you simply cannot afford not to make some of these helpful home improvements. If you try out one or two you will be back for more when you see the impact they have on your household bills.