Conserving energy in our homes helps to protect the environment by cutting carbon dioxide emissions and, more importantly during the current energy crisis, helps to reduce energy bills. We take a look at the energy landscape, answer some commonly asked questions and show you our top tips to save energy consumption around the home.
We started seeing the effects of the energy crisis back in April 2022, when the average annual energy bill increased by 54% from £1,277 to £1,971. This increased the average energy bill from £106 to £164 a month. The price cap rise was a result of sustained increases in the wholesale price of gas.
The price cap is due to rise again. Originally, bills were set to hit £3,549 a year on 1 October 2022, but on 8 September the government announced a new price freeze level for average households of £2,500 a year. This will still mean that 6.7 million households will be fuel poor. (Source: National Energy Action)
Thankfully, there are several ways of saving energy around the home to suit all budgets.
It goes without saying that we recommend upgrading your windows and doors, but first of all you need to look at the overall insulation of your home. As around 60% of heat is lost through the walls and loft, make sure these areas are well insulated first.
How much money can I save?
If you take the DIY route when it comes to insulation, according to Norton Finance:
Are there any other quick fixes?
Easy steps to draught-proof your home include:
These may seem like simple fixes, but they can make a big difference, as this table from English Heritage shows.
Did you know that around 20% of the heat escaping from an average house goes out through the windows? This means that choosing the right combination of glazing and window frames is essential to improve the energy performance of your home.
There are three key factors in determining the energy efficiency of windows:
The energy performance of a window depends on how well it can stop heat from passing through, how little air can leak around the window, and how much sunlight travels through the glass.
Yes. By installing A-rated double glazing windows in an entirely single-glazed semi-detached gas heated property, the Energy Saving Trust has worked out you could save £235 a year and 405kg of carbon dioxide.
The British Fenestration Rating Council (BFRC) provides an independent rating system for new windows based on their energy performance. Products are rated on a scale from A++ (most energy efficient) to E (least energy efficient).
Building regulations stipulate that replacement windows must be rated C or above and doors E or higher, except in historic properties and conservation areas.
Replacing your windows with any grade that is higher than you currently have will help to reduce your energy costs and make your home more comfortable. However, windows and doors with ratings A to A++ are the only ratings considered to be energy positive – meaning they absorb more energy than they lose.
With 10-20% of energy lost through doors, upgrading your external doors is another great way to cut costs.
There are three reasons why your door may not be energy efficient:
Before replacing your door, you can fit draught-proofing strips around the seals and the letterbox of your existing door to see if that makes a difference. However, modern doors don’t just have better insulation, they can also reduce draughts and prevent heat escaping as they are likely to fit more snugly in the door frame.
High performance external doors can be constructed of uPVC, aluminium, timber or a combination of these materials. They can be solid, partially glazed or fully glazed and are excellent at retaining heat and keeping your home well-insulated.
The glass in the door can be double glazed with a thermal barrier between the panes of glass containing air or argon to prevent heat passing through.
Yes. Installing an energy-efficient door can help retain heat so you won’t need the heating on as high during the winter, resulting in a lower heating bill.
Browse our range of energy efficient doors here.
According to Energy.gov, you could save 10% on your heating bills each year by turning your thermostat down a few degrees from its normal setting for eight hours a day. You can do this while you’re asleep or away from home.
The Energy Saving Trust has some excellent advice on saving money when you use your washing machine. This includes only washing clothes when you need to, avoiding half loads and washing at a lower temperature.
By swapping your tumble dryer for a clothes horse or washing line you could save £116 a year according to energy company Utilita. But if you do need to tumble dry, spin clothes on your washing machine’s highest cycle first.
If your radiators have a clear space around them free from furniture, heat can spread around the room more efficiently.
If you spend just one minute less in the shower each day, you could save around £8 on your energy per person each year, according to Utilita.
Did you know that your appliances on standby can use as much as 75% of the energy they use when they’re fully switched on? Utilita say you can also save up to £25 a year by switching the lights off after you leave a room, and cut costs even more with energy saving light bulbs.
Batch cooking will make the most of using your oven, and once you’ve finished, leave the door open to warm the kitchen. Slow cookers and microwaves cost less to use than hobs and ovens when it comes to creating your culinary masterpieces!
We are a licensed member of the BFRC for the manufacture and installation of windows and doors. As we manufacture all of our products on site, we have complete control over the quality of materials used. All of our windows and doors can be designed to achieve any of the BFRC’s ratings, depending on your needs and budget.
Our multi-chambered frame designs deliver exceptional energy efficiency for both windows and doors. These slim frames also allow the area of glass in windows to be optimised, maximising the amount of natural light within your home.
We are always happy to answer any questions you may have about the energy efficiency of our products and installation processes. Our windows and doors can ensure that your home is kept warm and comfortable all year round, while reducing your energy consumption and carbon footprint.
We hope you’ve found this guide to saving energy costs useful. If you are considering replacing your windows or doors, then please get in touch. With over 40 years of experience, we would be happy to help save you money in the long term.