The Energy Saving Measures below have payback information to show roughly how long it takes to gain financially and cover improvement costs. This information provided is a best estimate independently sourced from experts such as the Energy Savings Trust and based on a semi-detached house with 3 bedrooms. 'Installed Costs' assume that installation is undertaken by a professional installer.
WINDOWS and DOUBLE GLAZING: This is the most popular energy efficiency measure taken by people in the UK. "Low-E" glazing must now be used in all new windows and reduces heat loss through windows by 45 - 50%. With this fitted expect to save upwards of £35 on heating bills each year. Argon gas filled double-glazing is also available making heat escape at an even slower rate than other types. If your on a budget, fit secondary glazing, although not as effective as double glazing it's less expensive and still saves money by cutting heat loss and draughts as a temporary measure.
DRAFT PROOFING WINDOWS AND DOORS: Draft proofing of doors and windows is one of the most cost effective way to cut bills. The best way is to use polypropylene tubing although it initially costs more than foam types it lasts so much longer that in the end it saves more money. Draft proofing should save around £20 on heating bills each year.
Summary Table: Draft Proofing
INSULATING WALLS: Up to 35% of all heat lost in homes can be through walls. Cavity Walls Cavity walls, typical of homes built between the 1930's and 1980's: can be improved simply using cavity wall insulation which fits like sandwich filling between the two layers of wall. Cavity wall insulation can be the most cost effective way to save energy and Kirklees Energy Services (KES) can advise you of grants you might be able to get for this.
Walls: Insulate with external cladding or special rendering outside and
if this can't be done (cases where walls are of exceptional architectural
interest) then cladding could be used on the inside of the wall.
INSULATING THE LOFT OR ROOF: Un-insulated roofs costs around 20% of a heating bill. Where the loft isn't part of the living space and the floor boarding allows, a layer of mineral wool, prepared sheep's shoddy or recycled textile and/or paper insulation, material can be laid down horizontally like carpet. The depth now recommended is 270mm. Care must be taken by DIY enthusiasts to ensure sufficient gaps are left around the eaves to avoid condensation. A gap in the insulated area should also be left under water tanks to avoid them freezing and pipe work and loft hatches should also be insulated. In homes where the loft is used as part of the living space or the cavity between the floor boards isn't adequate thermo foil or special internal cladding can be used directly under the roof
Summary Table: Loft Insulation
INSULATING FLOORS: Cellars cause 25% of total heat loss through the floor. Fill gaps under the Skirting Boards with beading and Mastic sealant to reduce heat loss. Savings improve by installing under-floor insulation.
Summary Table: Floor Insulation and Draft proofing
Summary Table: Condensing Boiler
Hot Water Jackets: If a separate hot water cylinder is used a good well fitted hot water tank jacket at least 75mm (3") to create further savings, hot water pipes should also be insulated.
Summary Table: Hot Water Tank Jacket
HEATING CONTROLS & Temperature management:
Set at different temperatures for different rooms depending on use. Living rooms and bedrooms keep at 21oC (or 70F), in line with recommended temperature for less mobile people, the very young and older people. The rest of the house should be a temperature of no more than 18 oC (or 65F) the recommended temperature for healthy mobile people.
POSITIONING RADIATORS: Many radiators were traditionally positioned on outside walls and even beneath windows increasing heat loss. Even with new double glazing and wall insulation moving the radiators to internal walls should cut back the rate of heat loss and may save £20 + per year.
ENERGY SAVING LIGHT BULBS: switching off an unnecessary light for just one night saves enough energy to run a stereo for 24 hours.
Every energy-saving light bulb used saves about £7-10 of electricity each year by only using about 20% of the energy ordinary bulbs need and will last 12 times longer than ordinary bulbs. If every household in the UK installed just one, the saving in electricity would be equal to that needed for lighting 3 million homes each year or over £80 million. Get your first free from KES when you fill in a Home Energy Check Questionnaire
Summary Table: Energy Efficient Light Bulb
about every day things
Settings: Set hot water to 60oC, this is more than adequate for washing
purposes and also hot enough to pasteurise the water to prevent diseases
such as Legionella.
Cooking: Use the smallest pans necessary and cut veg and potatoes into smaller pieces which cook faster. Only just cover fruit, vegetables, rice or potatoes with water and always use pans with a lid to keep in heat. This not only takes less time to cook but will also improve the families health as less water and faster cooking times mean less of the valuable vitamins and minerals escape into the cooking water.
Refrigerating and Freezing: Never leave the fridge or freezer door open longer than necessary, as cold air will escape and more energy will be required to make the temperature inside the fridge cool once shut again. Never put warm or hot food into the fridge and regularly defrost the fridge and freezer checking that the door seals work properly; seals should be tight enough to hold a piece of paper securely when closed.
Washing the pots: When washing the pots by hand only do so when the washing up-bowls full. The same is true for dishwashers. Only ever run these on the economy cycle when full up and save ££
Standby Buttons: Love music, television, microwave, video and other electrical equipment? Leaving them on stand-by mode uses around 70-85% of the electricity the equipment needs when fully on. Many ordinary families could save £100 a year by not doing so.
Doing the Laundry: Plan the clothes you use in advance so you have time to dry them on the line rather than using the tumble drier saving 2/3rds of the washing energy. Only use washing machines when there's enough washing for a full load. Wash on a 40oC washing cycle as with modern washing powders this is perfectly adequate. Use a de-scaler once every three months to improve efficiency and extend the life of the machine. By adopting these habits a family can reduce laundry costs by 60%.
Curtains: Closing all the curtains at dusk will help to stop heat escaping through windows whilst opening the curtains during daylight hours will help rooms heat up through sunlight. Simple curtain management can save up to £20 per year.
What to look for when buying new household goods.
replacing certain household items either by buying, hire or hire-purchase
are now able to easily work out whether or not the new items are efficient
and use low amounts of energy and/or water to perform the jobs they do.
All they need to do is check the European Community Energy Label which
must be displayed on the following items by law;
This also applies to new household products displayed for sale via Mail Order catalogues and the Internet as well as shops. Advertisements and manufacturers literature is required to contain similar information, and people should be provided with this information wherever such products are available for hire or sale.
The European Community Energy Label is shown on the left. Labels on domestic appliances show on a scale of A to G where A is best and G worst whether the fridge, washing machine, iron, lamp or tumble drier in question is a high or low performer in terms of energy use and water consumption. Choose items with the most A ratings as these cost least to run and reduce fuel and water bills.
Some items now display a higher than A rating i.e. AA or A++
The Table below gives an indication of the effect that opting to a more energy efficient appliance has in terms of savings each year. Where the difference in £ per year running costs are based on comparison between an average appliance purchased new in 1995 and an Energy Saving Recommended model of similar size. The table savings costs are based upon an electricity cost of 7.9p/kWh from the electricity supplier.
EU Energy Rating Saving/year (up to)
UK home produces around 6 to 8 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide each year not
including the CO2 created by car or automobile usage. To balance the damage
done by an average homes CO2 Emissions home-owners would need to plant
around 36 - 48 broad leafed native trees.
Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council
has established a target of meeting 5% of the district's energy demand
from renewable energy sources by 2005. They can help support home owners
and community groups with things like PV, Solar Thermal and Heat Pumps
Write to or Visit:
Kirklees Green Party
Tel: 01422 375363