Times are hard, and many of us can no longer afford to waste energy at home. The income of a sizeable proportion of the population reduced in real terms and fuel prices have gone through the roof. Lots of people face the dilemma of whether to be cold or hungry on any given day. It is a shameful situation in which to find yourself in such a rich country.
What can you do about it? There are many measures you can take at home, but some of them cost a lot of money. Your first port of call should be to check out any government grants that allow you to install things for free, or at least bear some of the cost of the upgrades. In the United Kingdom, for example, there is a scheme called The Green Deal. It will help you to pay for many of the things we will address here. I hope you find this useful.
Insulate Your Home
There are still buildings out there that have little or no insulation. Is yours one of them? Some utility suppliers will provide it at no cost to you if you qualify for it. That doesn’t mean you have to be in receipt of benefits either.
- Insulation in the attic is the first project to tackle. It is the place where you lose most of the warmth from your home. As I mentioned earlier, the supplier will often supply and install it for free.
- Wall insulation is the next issue to address. If they are cavity walls, the installers can drill holes and pump in expanding foam to stop heat loss. Where there are no cavities, you can apply insulation to the interior and exterior faces of the wall. Plasterboard with a layer of insulation is perfect in the inside. Outside, the contractors can install insulation panels and apply a coat of render to hide them.
Change Old Appliances
If your appliances are over five years old, they are not as efficient as they could be. They burn more fuel or use more electricity than their modern counterparts. Central heating boiler spares are hard to come by for old models too. As incredible as it may seem, you can even get some money off the cost of a new one under The Green deal. That has to be an attractive proposal.
Solar panels are expensive to install, but they make you less reliant on the energy suppliers and pay for themselves over ten to fifteen years. They are efficient units that can provide power for all your needs if you buy enough of them. The suppliers are duty-bound to buy any excess power the panels produce, and that reduces your bills. It could mean that you will move into profit after you recoup your initial outlay.
There is no single solution to saving energy at home; you must attack the problem on all fronts. The good news is that most people can achieve a significant reduction in their bills. That is small comfort to the people who are desperate today, but it is a lesson to us all; prepare for any eventuality.