6 Steps to Making Your Home More Energy Efficient
If you’re thinking of making your home more energy efficient, you’ll want to be aware of the process so you’re fully prepared.
Making your home more energy efficient can bring lots of benefits. An energy-efficient home can lower your energy bills by as much as £1,670, according to our research. It can reduce your emissions by up to 4.6 tons. And it can add as much as £16,700 to the value of your home. The exact amount will vary depending on your home, and you can get a more accurate estimate using Snugg.
But the benefits don’t end there. An energy-efficient home is a comfortable home, helping you feel cool in summer and warm in winter. Plus, there are numerous potential health benefits, particularly for those with asthma and hay fever, which can help reduce the strain on the NHS and help the UK get to net zero.
Whatever your reason for wanting to make your home more energy efficient, follow these steps for a simple and affordable experience.
1. Identify your home’s current energy efficiency
Just like starting a new exercise regime, you first want to assess your starting point. This will help you (or, if you use our service, Snugg) put together an effective plan of action.
When you sign up to Snugg, we’ll ask you to enter your address. With that, we analyse a range of efficiency data, including publicly available EPC data, to understand your home’s current efficiency level. We then use that to create a bespoke improvement plan for you to consider.
If you don’t already have an EPC, or you need a new one to account for changes made since the last EPC was done, you can book a Retrofit Assessor to assess your home’s energy efficiency. This will give you an up-to-date view of your home and give you an opportunity to ask any questions you may have in person.
2. Compare options to improve your home’s efficiency
The next step is to see which types of improvements are suitable for your home and whether they’re worth considering. This includes everything from switching to LED lightbulbs to installing solar panels.
Since every home’s different, Snugg shows you a range of estimates for each installation:
- Upfront installation cost
- Payback period (how long it takes to recoup the upfront cost from efficiency savings)
- Energy use reduction
- Energy bill savings
- CO2 emissions reduction
- An estimation of increased home value
You can compare the benefits of each type of improvement and select which to act on and which to save for later.
3. Consider your budget and see if you’re eligible for grants
Some types of installations cost more than others. Solar panels and heat pumps can cost thousands of pounds, for example. And while you can recoup the cost of these improvements over several years, the upfront cost can be significant.
Helpfully, the government and other organisations offer a variety of grants that can cover part or all the cost of the installation. They’re not available to everyone, so you’ll need to check if you’re eligible to receive them.
If you use Snugg to manage your home improvements, we’ll show you the grants you may be eligible for once you’ve decided which types of installation you’d like to consider.
No matter your budget, there are still lots of changes you can make - many for free! Find our top affordable energy-saving picks here.
4. Consider the timing of the installation
Most installations can be completed in a day or two. But they might cause some disruption to your usual routine. Letting installers who you haven’t met before might feel intrusive, for example. And if you have a busy or cluttered home, you might need to do some tidying up so that they have space to operate.
You’ll also need to be in during the daytime to allow access to your home. This might require taking time off work or arranging for a close family member to pick up the kids from school, for example.
You’ll also want to consider other factors, such as the weather (do you want your solar panels installed and ready in time for summer?) and the availability of installers (May and June are typically the busiest times).
Once you’ve decided the time of year that works best for you, you can ask installers about their availability.
5. Get quotes from certified installers
If you’re comfortable with a bit of DIY, you may be able to install some improvements yourself, like draught-proofing your windows. But for some installations, such as cavity wall insulation or solar panels, you’ll want an experienced installer to do the job.
A professional installer should be certified by an accreditor such as MCS (for solar panels and energy storage system installers) or FENSA (for double glazing installers). This will ensure they’ve received suitable training and the job’s done to a high standard. They may also be registered with TrustMark, showing that they adhere to high-quality work.
Professional installers will also be aware of the necessary building regulations that need to be adhered to. And they may provide a warranty to cover any issues due to poor workmanship or materials.
Another benefit of using a certified installer is that it may be an eligibility requirement necessary to access certain grants you may want to apply for.
With Snugg, you can request quotes from local installers easily. All our installers work with our partners EDF or Heat Save Scotland, so you can feel reassured that they’re fully vetted and qualified to do the job well.
It’s good practice to get quotes from three installers. This will allow you to compare a good range of prices and availability. When you’ve found the right installer for you, it’s time to book your installation!
6. Monitor the impact
Once your installation has been completed, you’ll want to understand how it’s impacting your home’s energy efficiency. Depending on the type of installation, you should see some reduction in energy usage, resulting in lower energy bills and reduced carbon emissions.
If you have a smart meter, you’ll be able to compare the difference quite easily. If you don’t have a smart meter, it would be a good idea to get it installed before your installation has been completed.
To get the full picture, you’ll need to book an accredited Domestic Energy Assessor to update your home’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The assessment isn’t too costly and usually takes a couple of hours, depending on the size of your home.
The new EPC will provide the latest information about your home’s energy efficiency, including its efficiency rating. The rating will be graded between A (most efficient) and G (least efficient). It will also show the expected annual cost to run your home, and the home’s environmental impact.
To get the full picture and continue to monitor your home over time, simply log into Snugg.
Get more insights
Get your free personalised home energy efficiency plan
Get a free personalised plan to help reduce your energy bills and prepare for a greener future.