One of your biggest expenses which you can’t get away from is of course your energy expenses, especially during the winter months when heating and lighting usage goes up. A little forward planning and staying savvy will help you keep these costs under control and of course keep you on budget and sticking to your personal finance goals!
If you have moved into your home over the last few years then there will have been an EPC conducted for your home. This is basically a full assessment of the energy efficiency of your home through assessing common places where energy is wasted and the opportunities available in your home to save energy. If you haven’t looked at your EPC in great detail then now is the time. If you need to purchase one you can get one from EnergyPerformanceCertificates.co.uk.
As well as rating the current energy performance of your home (and the impact it has on the environment), each area of the property such as the windows, the boiler, cavity wall insulation and so on will be given an assessment and suggestions on ways in which you should look to improve this. The EPC will state the estimated costs of doing this, and most importantly the savings you will be making over the next few years after implementing the changes which were suggested.
Although some of the potential changes may be expensive, measures such as The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund may assist you in paying for some, or all of the required changes. Using this handy Energy Grants calculator will give you an up to date estimation of the potential grants available to you to make these changes.
Potential changes that you can make don’t just stop at the bigger property changes such as the installation of insulation. Changing the light bulbs to energy efficient models will save money on both the cost of regularly replacing bulbs and electricity costs. Other measures include thermal backed curtains and the use of draft excluders.
Big home appliances which you use regularly, such as your washing machine and tumble dryer can be expensive to run and a huge drain on energy, especially if it has a poor energy efficiency rating. With so many new developments recently many of the new appliances are rated B or above and if you are looking at purchasing a new appliance then you should place great importance on these ratings and the estimated running costs of the appliance. Appliance recycling schemes are also available if you want to upgrade your appliances and stay green!