The UK government recently announced that they would cap typical annual household energy costs at £2,500 per year for the next two years. However, energy bills continue to rise for many households across the country.
With leading property news outlets creating headlines about the possible incoming property crash and ‘year of pain’ alongside the current cost of living crisis, you may be wondering; what on earth can I do to protect myself and my family?
Well, the good news is, there is plenty you can do to take steps to prepare for the property crash, cost of living crisis and rising energy costs. This article will cover how to cut your energy bills using home insulation and how much it could help in the long run.
Home insulation is typically classified as a material used to insulate a home; insulating is the process of retaining heat inside a home, usually by covering exposed areas like the roof, floors, walls and in between walls. Standard home insulation works by gradually conducting and convective heat flow, whereas radiant barriers and reflective insulation work by reducing radiant energy.
The indoor temperature can be challenging to manage without insulation, and homes can lose up to 45% of their energy efficiency. You can work out that if you lack insulation when you turn the heating off, the house suddenly drops in temperature. If you have regulated insulation, the house will retain the heat for longer, and the need to have your heating on all the time is lessened.
Another way to check would be to look at your Electric Safety Certificate (EIC), which will tell you what grade of energy efficiency your home is; A is the best, and E is the worst.
The problem with housing and its insulation is that over half of the UK’s property was built before 1965, and 36% was built before World War Two. Back then, we didn’t know as much about insulation as we do now. Most houses built in these two periods are often rated as a grade D or worse.
Where Should I Add Insulation To My Home?
There are many types of insulation that you can get installed at home, like Cellulose, Fibreglass, Foam and Mineral Wool. It’s always best to get a quote from a building or insulation company that will be able to recommend the best insulation for your property.
The best way to ensure your home is heat efficient is to install insulation:
- Walls and roof – you should insulate your walls and ceiling with loft/roof, cavity/solid wall insulation. 33% heat loss happens through uninsulated walls and 26% from your roof.
- Chimney – you should insulate your chimney with a chimney balloon as this can help prevent warm air from escaping & if you don’t use your chimney, you should get it capped.
- Floors – 8% of heat loss comes from uninsulated floors. To counter this, install panels, boards or foam insulation — depending on how much you want to spend.
- Windows and doors – By placing internal & external draught-proofing strips around your windows and doors, you can prevent warm air from escaping through the gaps – new windows, especially double or triple-glazed windows, can help with this too. Windows and doors account for 21% of heat loss in the home. You can add heavy curtains to your windows as a barrier to keep warm heat in your room.
How Could Insulation Help Cut Energy Bills This Winter?
By installing regulated insulation on your property, you will maintain heat much more efficiently and aid in cutting down on your energy bills. It does depend on how much you spend and what type of energy or house you have.
The average three-bedroom semi-detached homeowner could expect a return on investment in five to six years and save around £555 per year on energy bills if they installed draught-proofing, loft insulation and cavity walls.
|Saving Per Annum
|Cavity Wall Insulation
Source: Energy Saving Trust – using an average gas price of 10.3p/kWh and electricity price of 34.0/kWh as of October 2022.
How Is The Government Helping With Home Insulation?
The government recently pledged £1.5 billion to improve low-income household insulation with the help of local and social housing associations. This money comes from a wider £6.6 billion pot as part of the Heat and Building Strategy and will be used to improve 130,000 homes.
However, the government had already pledged to eradicate all housing below a grade C by 2035. But only if they were classed as ‘practical, cost-effective and affordable, as well as ‘fuel poor’ and rented households by 2030. Many critics have said that this government target has slowed dramatically over the last year. Many UK new-build households are still being built without essential insulation, and without constant regulation, this will continue to happen.
We spoke to the co-CEOs of The Property Buying Company, Jonny Christie and Karl McArdle, about how effective insulation in a home can be and what more the government could do to aid families at risk.
Jonny said, “Only time will tell how the government will react to the current situation and respond to ongoing criticism about the decline of house insulation and regulation. There is no predicting how the future will unfold, especially in this ever-changing economic environment.”
“Unfortunately, if you are a tenant living in either social or privately owned housing, you will only be able to take limited action to improve your home insulation. The silver lining is that most landlords will provide regulated home insulation for their homes, or they could face up to £5,000 in penalties for being below EIC grade E. By 2028, this is targeted to rise to an EIC grade of C.”
Karl said, “Luckily, there are certain measures that individual homeowners can take to prepare for cold and harsh winters. These measures may include installing cavity wall insulation, draught-proofing and chimney balloons. All these measures may seem to be an expensive upfront investment, but they will, in time, help cut energy costs for the homeowners of the United Kingdom.”
If you have any questions or concerns, we are always happy to respond to your queries, be sure to contact us.