How to make your home more sustainable
In this guide, you’ll find the important interventions that you should be considering, starting with the simple changes you can make right now, and progressing to the more cost and time intensive sustainable retrofits.
How to make your home more sustainable – free guideHow to make your home more sustainable
Top 5 green energy changes to make today
- Replace halogen lightbulbs with LEDs
- Install foil radiator reflector sheets behind radiators on external walls
- Ensure your roof and hot water tank are well-insulated
- Draught-proof your home (including cat flaps) and install a chimney balloon
Top 5 green water changes to make today
- Fix a leaky loo – if your cistern is constantly running or dribbling, you are wasting up to 400 litres of water per day
- Install a shower flow restrictor and/or an aerated or low-flow showerhead to reduce the water flow, without compromising pressure or the feel of a normal shower
- Fit a dual flush system so you only use the water you need when you flush
- Try installing an inflated ‘Water Hippo’ in your cistern
- If you have a garden, collect rainwater in a water butt to water your plants with
Top 5 green changes to make tomorrow
- Replace any old appliances with more energy-efficient versions (remember to recycle or donate your old appliances)
- Install thermostatic radiator valves to allow you to only heat rooms where and when needed, and place thermostats or smart-home sensors around your house, to accurately monitor room temperatures
- Consider using a plug-in socket power meter (with built-in display) or a ‘smart’ wireless model with a monitoring app, to measure the electricity consumption of specific appliances and turn them off automatically using a timer if necessary
- Install a mains CT clip-on electricity monitor, with an in-home display and app, to get the best overall picture of your home electricity consumption. If you can measure it, you can manage it – so accurately measure live and historical electricity consumption patterns in detail. The more advanced systems can even analyse your consumption for you and recommend which
energy tariff would be the cheapest for your home
- Do you have a large hot water cylinder? Make sure you use the cheaper night-time electricity rates to heat your tank. Hot water systems, such as Fisher Future Heat’s Aquafficient is expensive at around £5,000 but is a compact system that delivers hot water on demand and saves you money in the long term by not heating a full tank of water when you may not use it
Renewable energy options
When looking to the future, you may be considering your ability to switch to more renewable methods of energy to power your homes. Here are some options to consider.
Consider upgrading your boiler from a gas to an electric model (particularly if you have, or plan to install solar panels and battery storage).
Ground source heat pumps usually work by extracting low-grade heat from a pipe buried in the garden, which offers the best year-round performance, or an air source heat-pump for more seasonal performance (these transfer heat via a refrigerant).
Solar thermal and solar photo-voltaic panels may provide sufficient heat for all your water throughout the summer months.
Wood burning stoves
If you live somewhere with an abundance of excess wood or wood pellets, then a high-efficiency wood-burning stove or boiler could be an efficient heating option for areas of the home that only require occasional heat.
For large landowners or for communities where homeowners wish to combine their resources, wind turbines can offer significant electricity output and a considerable contribution to your annual
energy needs, but do require a site assessment and planning permission, as well as a larger pot of capital and land.