Warning to put energy efficiency first

The UK’s got to start putting energy efficiency at the top of it’s home improvements list if it’s to meet its target of having 80% of housing stock ready by 2050.

The comments made by the Director of the National Home Improvement Council – Andrew Leech – were made as he asked home improvement retailers and installers to encourage the public to have energy saving and efficiency in mind when they planned home improvements.

In particular, he singled out new kitchens and bathrooms as areas where more could be done. Energy efficiency measures would “pay dividends in the long run”.

In addition to opting for energy efficient appliances, he also recommended that more homeowners should be looking at solar and other renewable energy sources.

His comments came after it was revealed that the UK had failed to meet its 2010 renewables target – a story we reported on last week.

Energy (and fuel bill) savings can be made all around the home but the chief energy user – heating – can be reduced with a mixture of insulation incorporating the latest double glazing advances and for older properties without a cavity wall, homeowners should consider interior or exterior wall insulation.

Even owners of newer homes should be checking their loft space for the current correct level of insulation.

Extra lagging of hot water apparatus and lowering thermostats by even 1 degree can still make enormous savings without affecting your families comfort. If you’re replacing your heating boiler, it’s the ideal time to use the most fuel efficient model you can afford or even opt for changing to a combo boiler which only heats the water as you use it.

The next time you’re getting a quote for any home improvement, don’t forget to discuss energy saving and energy efficiency with your installer.

photo credit: timothy vollmer

This article first appeared in our weekly homeowner newsletter dated 10th May 2011 – click here to read the full newsletter.

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