publication date: Nov 10, 2021
author/source: Guest article by James and Tatiana Tanner
How to reduce your energy costs up to 70% today and increase your EPC
If you make your property more energy efficient, the benefit is you will reduce your energy costs and increase your EPC. Due to global warming and concern for our children’s future, we wanted to make a property that was sustainable. We have implemented almost all of these ideas below, and our heating bills reduced by over 60% from £2,500 to £900 per annum, and our EPC is now almost 'A'.
- Enable the eco mode on your boiler. Turn down the room temperature control unit at least 1 degree C to eg 16.5C. Set the timer for heating and hot water only when needed. Fit low flow shower and hot water tap heads. Quick win: You can reduce your heating costs by up to 40%.
- When the heating is on, close windows/doors to stop the heat escaping.
- Bleed radiators a few times a year, to remove air from inside them, this will increase the amount of heat produced.
- Replace electricity and gas providers for one which produces 100% clean electricity and a proportion of gas from renewable energy eg: Good Energy and Ecotricity.
- Ensure ventilation grilles, air bricks and window trickle vents are working and clear to allow ventilation and stop condensation.
- Block chimneys not used to prevent draughts, fit a chimney balloon.
- A quarter of heat loss at home is through the roof, so add natural breathable insulation in the loft - minimum 27cm thick.
- Large rugs/carpet, the thicker the better, and closed heavy lined curtains reduce heat loss and prevent draughts.
Property owner works
- Draught proof windows, letter box and external doors. On single glazed windows only, fit a thin film on the inside of windows, alternatively acrylic sheeting is more effective and longer lasting.
- Replace lighting for LED low energy lights.
- Fit thermostat controls on radiators, turn off in rooms not used.
- If you have a hot water cylinder, turn down the temperature to 60C, Insulate it and the hot water pipes to reduce heat loss, minimum 8cm thick - payback is within a few years.
- Fit sensor lighting externally and in hallways, so no lights are left on unnecessarily.
- Replace kitchen appliances and your condensing boiler for the most energy efficient type possible (kitchen appliances A+++).
- Arrange a plumber to remove the sludge which builds up inside your radiators and radiator pipework every few years, so less heating is needed.
- Replace airbricks with Passyvers which have natural fibres inside them, to stop cold air coming into the property but they let out moisture.
- Install humidistats, eg by Envirovent, in bathrooms to automatically remove steam, and to reduce condensation and mould.
- Check all pages of your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) online, to see recommended ways to improve energy efficiency.
- Fit natural breathable insulation on the walls which face the outside only, under the floor on the ground floor and inside of the roof.
- Double/triple glaze windows with argon filled low E-glass, and on external doors, a lower cost option would be to add secondary glazing.
- Install the most efficient PV panels on the roof with battery storage, and use excess electricity generated when it is dark.
- Install a heat pump when you need to replace your boiler.
Specialist professional advice including building control is needed to carry out the above major works.
Make an action plan.
We would be grateful if you could apply at least one of the above simple tips and let us know? Contact us.
For further information:
Centre for Alternative Technology
Association for Environment Conscious Building
Find an energy certificate - Gov
Professional Landlord for 12 years, developer, letting and managing agent, member of the National Regional Landlord Association and Centre for Alternative Technology. We want to carry out eco retrofits on properties we buy.
BA in Psychology, an MA and an M.Phil. in Child Psychotherapy. Tatiana taught in several Post graduate courses at the Tavistock Clinic and the Anna Freud Centre, London, England and works as a teacher and in her own private practice as a Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist. She is an overseas member of the ACP in the UK. We have two sons and deeply care about the impact climate change will have on future generations.