Home energy saving tips to save money on your bills

We’re all looking for ways to keep our houses warmer for longer and save energy at home. Simple changes can save on your energy costs.

🕑 7 minutes read

Father and son picking vegetables from the ground

If you’re looking to improve your EPC rating and save money on everyday energy bills, these energy saving tips could help.

1. Use energy saving light bulbs

Changing the lamps and lights in your home to energy saving bulbs is the fastest, easiest and cheapest way to save energy at home. It takes just a few minutes to screw in a single bulb and you can usually find them in most shops for less than £10.

Potential savings: If you replace all the bulbs in your home with LED lights, you could save £80 a year on your electricity bills.

2. Double glaze your windows

One of the most effective ways to keep warm in your home and make it more energy efficient is to get double glazed windows. You may already have them, but if you’ve got an older property, it’s possible that it’s still single glazed. The added bonus of double glazing is that it will make for a more peaceful home, as it reduces noise as well as heat loss.

Potential savings: You could save energy and cut down your bills by reducing how much heat is lost through the windows, especially if you have radiators directly under them.

3. Harness the energy of the sun

You might be surprised by how much energy you could save by adding solar panels. Even in the UK’s cloudy climate they are a great source of renewable energy. Choose from two different kinds. Solar PV panels convert light energy into power, and they don’t need direct sunlight to work – so they’re still effective on cloudy days. Or go for solar water heating. This heats your hot water tank rather than your home.

Potential savings: Although there is an initial cost to pay, the energy that solar generates is free. Plus, if you have an electric car, you can charge it with solar energy and double your energy savings. From 1st January 2020, energy companies are obliged to buy your excess energy under the Smart Export Guarantee put in place to increase the amount of green energy going into the national grid.

4. Make sure your home is insulated

There are three kinds of insulation you can tackle in your home.

  • Cavity wall insulation.
  • Solid wall insulation.
  • Loft insulation.

Cavity wall insulation is a simple and cost-effective way to keep your home warm. If your home was built post-1920s, chances are it will have a cavity wall. Which is great for keeping damp at bay but can leave you a little chilly if it’s not properly insulated. Pack dense, insulating material between the inner and outer walls of your property (the cavity) to keep the heat in and cold out and save energy by needing to heat your home less. The bonus? Cavity wall insulation is cheap and long-lasting.

Solid wall insulation is what you’ll need if your home was built before the 1920s or does not have a cavity. This kind of insulation goes outside the building, as a kind of insulating cladding. This is more expensive than cavity wall insulation but could be worth the savings.

Loft insulation tackles the heat rising and escaping through the roof. In fact, if your loft isn’t properly insulated then you could be losing as much as a quarter of your home’s heat. That’s a lot of money and energy savings to be had.

If you can’t upgrade your insulation, try keeping draughts at bay. If you feel any kind of cold air in your home, you’ll know that’s where heat is escaping from. Simple draught excluders, blocking up old chimneys and professional draught-proofing will all help keep your home cosy and warm.

Potential savings: There are grants available for both wall and loft insulation through your energy provider under the Energy Company Obligations (ECO) scheme.

5. Get your energy from the ground

How about generating energy from the ground? Ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) can be buried in your garden to absorb the heat from the earth to fuel your home. Fluid-filled loops are placed under the surface and warmed by the earth’s natural thermal energy. The fluid is then passed through a compressor to increase the heat.

Potential savings: This option is a great way to lower your fuel bills and save energy. Plus, you could get paid for the energy you produce under the Renewable Heat Incentive.

6. Get a smart thermostat

A smart thermostat is perfect if you want to take control of your heating and your energy usage. The software learns how to heat your home most efficiently. It’s particularly good if you have a routine, as the more you use it the more it learns about your habits – it can help make sure your home is warm when you need it.

Potential savings: If you’ll be in your house for a while, a smart thermostat could be a good investment. How much money and energy you save depends on how you use it.

7. Upgrade your boiler

New boiler models are more efficient and more cost-effective than old ones. So, it might be worth upgrading your current one.

Potential savings: Increasing the energy rating of your boiler is going to save you money on your energy bills.

8. New appliances

Your old appliances could be using more energy than you realise. By upgrading certain electronic staples of your everyday life and investing in items such as an energy-saving kettle, fridge-freezer or microwave could make a huge difference to your energy bills at the end of the month.

Potential savings: As a general rule of thumb, larger appliances will have a larger initial payment to replace, but that could also mean they save you more energy (and therefore money) later down the line.

Updated March 2023