Your home being more energy efficient leads to cheaper bills, and an overall reduction in carbon footprint.
Followed are the highest impactful options, the costs you can expect to incur, and any potential issues you could run into.
I’ve mentioned previously, in 2025 the government’s expectation surrounding EPCs and the minimum desired requirement will be aimed at a minimum of band C.
Energy Efficiency Home Improvements & The 8 Examples!
You may well be able to find out what energy efficiency home improvements can be made with the EPC register, the online service to search for EPC documents with just the property address.
There’s plenty of information included in an Energy Performance Certificate, have a read of one of my latest blogs to get the run-down on what you can expect to find! Click the link below to add it to your reading list!
Making Your Home More Energy Efficient:
1. Flooring Insulation
Floor insulation helps reduce draughts at ground level to help eliminate some energy usage.
Typically properties built from the late 1930s were built with solid concrete floors, with insulation being installed on top, before being laid with your choice of conventional flooring finish – carpet, laminate flooring etc.
Depending on where you’re located, expect to pay between £1000 to £2000 per floor for insulation if you have solid concrete floors.
Insulating a property with a suspended timber floor can cost in the region of between £300 to £800 per room.
Insulating your property floor could save you up to £100 per year, yes in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t seem a lot compared to the initial outlay, but it’s an investment, a good selling point, and your property won’t lose it’s retained heat as quickly.
Bear in mind the costs of removal of furniture, as well as relaying of the flooring that was taken up.
Also, be mindful that if you have suspended timber flooring, your floorboards likely need to be lifted for insulation to be installed, meaning there’ll likely be gaps to be filled afterwards.
2. External Wall Insulation
One of the most popular choices of energy-saving improvements made in the past 24 months.
You’re getting a 2-in-1 deal here, making the home more energy efficient, as well as making your property look more aesthetically pleasing from the exterior.
This involves a layer of insulation on the exterior walls of the property, covered with plasterwork or cladding.
The final finish gives you a choice between brick slips, pebble-dashed, panelled, textured, or smooth. With a choice of painted finishes, potentially making the property look fresher and a little more modern.
This option can be costly, you can expect to fork out in the region of £100 per square metre. As an example, up to £20,000 for a generously sized semi-detached house.
Factors to be mindful of include, ensuring the walls have room to breathe, or you’re welcoming the risk of damp issues.
Items such as guttering, CCTV, alarm systems etc will require remounting to accommodate the new exterior finish. Also, older properties with period features will likely lose that appeal.
3. Solar Panels
Solar panels harvest energy from the sun and convert it into usable electricity for your home.
Installing solar panels gives you the potential to generate your own renewable electricity, although expensive to buy and get fitted, it’s one of the most cost-effective energy efficient home improvements you can look into!
The costs incurred are typically between £2,000 to around £8,000. This figure depends on your location, and the number of solar panels you require based on roof space.
Other than the cost, and space to have them installed, another factor to consider is the location of your home. If shaded with trees etc, you won’t be able to use them to their full potential.
4. Heat Pumps
Another way to help cut energy bills and make a positive dent in your carbon footprint is to use a system such as air, or ground source heat pump.
These pumps harvest heat from the outside and move it inward. Whereas this system still uses electricity, the amount of heat it produces and circulates around your home outweighs the amount of energy it requests.
Heat pumps aren’t cheap, you’re looking at up to £18,000 for an air source pump, and up to £35,000 for a ground source pump. Those figures are at the top end of the scale, for larger properties demanding more equipment to be provided and installed.
Some argue that heat pumps aren’t as effective as traditional gas boilers, especially in the winter period where they may have to be run almost constantly possibly cancelling out the monetary savings you’ve been accruing.
5. Internal Wall Insulation
There are many properties with solid walls, so an alternative method is to be used. Similarly to external wall insulation, there are insulation boards that can be fitted topped with plaster-board to get the desired original effect. Alternatively, build a stud wall with insulation material packed in between the structures.
The average semi-detached property will fall into the region of costs around £8,000. As a result, however, you can expect savings of around £250 per year in energy bills.
Be conscious of the size of the rooms in your home, either one of the above methods could mean you’re losing usable floor space within each room. Expect each wall to sit further out by 10-15cm.
The other downfall is the additional time and financial constraints with the amount of additional work, items such as switches, sockets, door frames, radiators etc will all need removing and remounting. Not to mention the final redecoration!
6. Cavity Wall Insulation
Cavity wall insulation applies only to properties that have a cavity space within their walls. Unlike properties with solid brick walls, there is space for insulation to be injected into the walls via holes made from the exterior of the property.
Once done, the holes are sealed back up with concrete. depending on the type of insulation injected will vary the cost of which you can expect to pay. Up to £18 per square metre for a glass wool insulation install or up to £25 per square metre if a polyurethane element is used.
Pricing varies massively depending on the type of house, up to £800 for a semi-detached, and up to £400 for a mid-terrace, entirely dependent on how many exposed walls there are to service.
In some cases, cavity wall insulation has been reported to cause issues such as dampness or mould. This is where if you use an accredited contractor to carry out this work, they will go through a pre-install assessment to ensure they take the right precautions to minimise this risk.
A CIGA-accredited contractor is recommended, as they will have a guarantee in place to protect you from many issues or failures as a result of their work. If you have pre-existing issues with dampness or mould, the likelihood is you’ll have to ensure the root cause is found and remedied beforehand.
7. Double Glazing & PVC Doors
Double glazing is one of the most energy-efficient factors you can look into. As well as increasing efficiency within the home, it has aesthetically pleasing characteristics too, in various different colours and designs, it’s a great way to modernise your home.
A semi-detached home can incur costs of replacement in the region of £5,000, depending on how many windows, types of windows, and doors needing replacement.
Many homes these days do already have double glazing, but over time they deteriorate and become less effective in the way you expect them to be.
8. Loft Insulation
Lastly, it’s loft insulation.
Reasonably priced and you don’t need to restructure your lifestyle to accommodate it being installed! You’ll remember in science lessons being taught that heat rises, that’s true! So, where better to install insulation?
Typically coming in rolls of a wool-type compound, usually laid in two, a bottom layer between the joists, and another on top covering the joists.
Expect to pay up to £600 for a large semi-detached home. You could even give it a go yourself, just watch your step! Don’t call me if you’ve fallen through!
Some even install boards over it, so that it can be walked over safely. Just be warned as squashing the insulation down will make it almost ineffective, raisers are sold so that a gap is left below and the insulation is working as it’s meant to…
A potential downside to loft insulation is the risk of damp, with insulation installed you’re preventing that warm air to escape, making the loft space cooler. Resulting in damp being produced and spreading. Damp insulation renders it ineffective!
Not a lot really.
There are plenty of other, smaller things you can try.
Draught excluders could be placed at the front and back doors to limit cold air coming in, and warm air escaping.
You could use heavy, thick curtains for the same reason.
Wall-mounted radiators placed on walls that are exterior facing could be losing vital heat, there is foil-lining that can be slotted behind radiators to reflect that heat back towards the interior of the home.
The 8 points mentioned above are ones that are usually a little more costly, but you get more bang for your buck. But there is plenty of innovative ways to try and reduce your energy consumption and its loss with smaller, more independent ideas like I’ve just mentioned.
These tips are handy for your own, as well as any rental properties you may own. Increasing energy efficiency means a higher EPC rating.
And a higher EPC rating results in tenants being found quicker, easier, and living there longer resulting in less wear and tear as opposed to new tenants moving in frequently!
Get in touch with our property experts to discuss how we can help you find, and manage tenants!