4th of October 2021:
Energy prices are set to rise for millions of UK residents from next month. According to Ofgem, gas and electricity customers can expect to see their bills rise by £139 to an average of £1,277 each year, while those on prepayment meters will see prices increase by £153 to an average of £1,309 per year. Ofgem have stated that these price hikes are due to the rise in wholesale supplies so how can you act now to make sure your energy bills won’t skyrocket while helping the environment at the same time?
Would sustainable living be the way forward? Domestic properties generate 27 per cent of all carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. By reducing carbon emissions, we can not only combat climate change but – what’s directly applicable to anyone paying the bills – also save you money. The average household spends around £530 a year on energy bills* – nearly a month’s rent or mortgage payment. The ‘standby mode’ is responsible for around 9% to 16% of these costs. But there’s even more energy wastage on top of that: Nearly 89% of the 27.6 million homes in the UK only ranks EPC D or lower for energy efficiency*, meaning we are using unnecessary energy and increasing our country’s greenhouse gas emissions.
How much practically could you save? An EPC rating is directly linked to the potential cost of energy bills but practically, how much would sustainable improvements save you? Saurabh Saxena, the founder of Sustainability Reports service houzen, has shared some simple improvements that could be made in the majority of UK homes: 1. Replacing your incandescent light bulbs to low energy ones – sounds obvious, but with a £20-30 cost it could save you £40 in bills just in one year.2. Insulate your cavity walls to prevent heat loss and cut your energy bill. It can save up to £160 in annual bills and would also increase EPC ratings by 5-10 points.3. Filling the cavity If you live in a house with a party wall. With an estimated cost of around £300, it could give you back £20-30 in savings each year. You could also go further and invest in underfloor heating, a new hot water cylinder and an air source heat pump but with multiple options and budgets varying, how do you figure out which sustainable improvements are worth your time, effort, and money?
The simplest way is to look at your EPC rating document. It comes with a full assessment of the current energy rating of the property as well as a list of suggested improvements. While great as the first step, it requires you to then set up your own plan of work, find contractors, plan budgets etc.
you’re less of a DIY person and prefer to get a ready-to-go action plan, you could speak to a sustainability improvement company, like houzen. Sustainability Reports like these are prepared using a mix of Artificial Intelligence and expert human knowledge. Each report analyses current sustainable elements in a home and lists potential improvements, together with contacts to available, trusted service providers and prices for each recommended feature. With a ready-to-go plan like this, all you need to do is to pick up the phone and book selected contractors for the job.
More information about houzen’s Sustainability Reports can be found at https://houzen.co.uk/sustainability-index/.