Do you want to lower your bills and reduce your impact on the planet?
15% of the UK's emissions come from heating our homes. But measures like installing cavity wall insulation could help reduce your bills up to 20% and reduce your emissions by more than half.
Discover what you can do to heat your home for less.
Loft insulation is cheap and simple to install, so it's worth telling your landlord this if you rent. Fit it to a depth of 270 mm. It'll pay for itself in a year through lower energy bills (or 2-3 years if you pay someone else to install it).
Cavity wall insulation
Get a professional to install insulation if you have cavity walls, or external cladding if you have solid walls. Internal solid wall insulation can be messy and is best done when decorating. Average costs for a 3-bedroom semi-detached house are £12,000 for external cladding or £8,000 for internal insulation (although much cheaper DIY internal insulation is much cheaper). Costs for cavity wall for a semi-detached are typically £1200.
DIY internal wall insulation
You can install internal wall insulation yourself, and it's both effective and cheap. The insulation either comes as boards or in rolls that you stick to the wall with special adhesive. If you rent, check with your landlord before decorating, and see whether you could benefit from the Affordable Warmth Obligation.
2. Stop draughts in your home
Draughty windows, doors and floorboards make homes chilly in winter – wasting heat and increasing your impact on the planet.
Draught-proofing is straightforward. Use the Energy Saving Trust's helpful guide.
If you’re renting, your landlord may pay for the materials or even get them professionally installed.
Home heating facts
3. Install low-carbon heating
Even a well-insulated house needs heating in winter.
Switching to the best eco-heating option, a heat pump, can really reduce your impact on the planet, and cut your emissions by up to 60% .
Heat pumps extract heat from the air outside, heating water for your radiators. They even work below freezing, which explains why chilly Sweden uses so many of them.
4. Get solar panels
Renewable energy is the cleanest form of energy we can use. Imagine enjoying a sunny day, knowing the solar panels on your roof are generating free, clean electricity and hot water.
Your solar panels will probably pay for themselves in around 10 years. And they'll keep generating heat or electricity for decades.
Solar hot water panels are more efficient than solar electricity ones, but they're more costly to fit. If you do have the means and the space, install both.
You can also use excess solar electricity to heat a hot water tank. Solar panels that produce both electricity and heat could soon be a reality.
5. Glaze windows and doors
Double- or triple-glazed windows make a house warmer and reduce outside noise.
If you're a homeowner, replace your doors at the same time with well-insulated ones. It won’t increase the costs much but will reduce draughts.
DIY secondary glazing is a much cheaper option, but it’s about half as effective at saving energy and won’t look as good.
Did you know?
6. Get a smart heating control
Smart heating controls let you control the heating in each room. They can help reduce energy use by assessing the weather, how quickly your property heats up, and when you’re home.
Thermostatic valves on each radiator are a cheaper option, and can be particularly useful for renters who have fewer options to improve home heating.
7. Save energy and water
Smart energy meters can be helpful in encouraging good habits, as they provide live info on how much energy you’re using. For example, you'll notice a difference in how much water and energy you're using by taking shorter showers (5 minutes or less).
If you can afford to, you can make an even bigger difference by replacing old, energy-guzzling appliances with efficient versions (A-rated and above).