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You are in: Derby > Credit Crunch > How Energy Efficient is your home?

Insulation in the home

You could insulate your home?

How Energy Efficient is your home?

With massive hikes in gas and electricity prices we find out what changes can be made in the home to make your fuel go further.

A change can do you good.

As British Gas owner Centrica announced that it's raising gas prices by 35% and electricity prices by 9% many households are worried how they will counteract the increases. This follows supplier EDF Energy having raised their gas prices by 22% and electricity prices by 17%.

Lee Pearson from Optimum Energy Solutions in Darley Abbey says that raising the energy efficiency of your home is the way forward.

Keeping the heating to a minimum, installing a more efficient boiler and utilising good insulation are important steps if not just for your house value. These changes will reduce air pollution, cut fuel bills and hopefully reduce your carbon footprint.

Where are your heating hotspots?

TERRACE OR MANSION?
Lee explains that if you live in terraced house or a flat you are in a great position. This means you can share your heat with your neighbours so you should be very cosy this winter for very little cost.

However if you live in a huge detached house with high ceilings do not go selling up yet! That are plenty of measures you can take to improve the efficiency of your home.

AGE AIN'T NOTHING BUT A NUMBER
Not true where your house is concerned. Changing building regulations over the years time has meant varying degrees of efficiency.

For example older houses that have been built without cavity walls are the least efficient although these can be installed. The cavity on newer houses keep much more of the heat in.

Gas ring

As appliances get older, the often get less efficient. However do not go and replace everything. Consider the amount of energy that has gone into producing this equipment in the first place.

However if you are buying new goods. Look out for the energy efficiency rating!  These ratings go on a scale from A-G, A having the least impact on the environment and therefore being the best for your home.

INSULATION STATION
Making sure your loft is properly insulated is imperative. For maximum efficiency loft insulation should measure 270mm and can reduce heat lost through your roof by up to 50%.

Insulating your hot water tank can also lead to savings of heat and money.

AT BOILING POINT
Lee explains that new boilers are improving all the time and can be up to 98% efficient when it comes to your heating and hot water. 

Get your boiler assessed! BBC Radio Derby's Andy Potter had his boiler efficiency measured at only 68% efficient. This means out of every £100 you spend on fuel you are throwing away approximately £30!

If you can try to put your boiler on a timer. This way you only heat the house or the water when you need rather than all the time.

Keep an eye on your radiators. Not all the radiators have to be on full only the rooms which tend to be cold. Radiators in the kitchen can often be on low as the heat from the cooker can suffice.

GLAZING OVER
Double glazing can often be pricey but is an important way to stop losing up to 50% of  the heat you have paid for.

Lee from Optimum Energy Solutions

MAKE YOUR OWN
Using renewable energy not only protects the environment but again, Lee suggests, it will protect your pennies.

Using solar power can provide up to 70% of your hot water needs via solar water heating panels and can also be used for electricity via the solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. Whilst costly, energy use can be reduced significantly and over time Lee predicts you will recoup your initial expenditure.

WHAT CAN YOU DO ON THE CHEAP?
Be ruthless, if you do not need it, switch it off whether it be appliances, heating or hot water.

Shut your curtains at night to keep the heat in. You could even invest in some thermal curtains.

Defrost your fridge and freezer on a regular basis to keep in running at full efficiency.

last updated: 05/08/2008 at 17:50
created: 05/08/2008

You are in: Derby > Credit Crunch > How Energy Efficient is your home?



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