Simple £3 energy hack could save you more than £200 and keep out cold draughts

Energy bills for more than 14million households will increase by at least £139 to a record high under Ofgem’s latest price cap and predicted to go up even further in April after the next scheduled review by the regulator in February.

Ofgem decided in August that energy customers on default tariffs paying by direct debit will see the sharpest jump in prices since the cap was introduced in January 2019, taking average bills to £1,277. Pre-payment customers will see annual costs rise by £153, from £1,156 to £1,309.

While the urge to shop around for a better energy deal may be strong, consumer expert Martin Lewis recently warned all households to “do nothing” just now as the energy market is unstable and you may end up moving to a higher tariff.

New research from Norton Finance has discovered that consumers are turning to energy-saving home improvements to combat the rising costS and they’re not as steep as you may think.

The study ranks the most cost-effective ways the average mid-terrace householder could save on energy bills after five years by installing different types of insulation.

A simple roll of draught excluder tape could save you £215 on energy bills after five years
A simple roll of draught excluder tape could save you £215 on energy bills after five years
(Image: Amazon)

Draught-proofing

What you will spend: £3

How much you could save: £215

Draught-proofing is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to save energy and money. DIY draught-proofing starts at under £3 for a roll of self-adhesive draught-excluding tape and you can pick up a roll at your local hardware store or online at Amazon.

Block up unwanted gaps around windows, doors and chimneys that lets cold air in and warm air out.

Doing this could save around £215 on energy bills after five years.

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Roof insulation

What you will spend: £285

How much you could save: £500

Just like going out in cold weather without a hat, as much as a quarter of heat can be lost if your roof isn’t insulated.

The loft of a mid-terrace house costs around £285 to insulate with 270mm insulation, saving you as much as £500 on bills after five years. You will also reduce your carbon footprint by about 530kg every year.

Wall insulation

What you will spend: £400

How much you could save: £500

About a third of heat is lost from walls of uninsulated houses. The age of your home will usually determine the type of walls you have, and this in turn affects the cost of insulation.

Solid walls let twice as much heat escape as cavity walls. While insulating solid walls can be more expensive, the savings on your heating bills will also be bigger. Insulating the walls of an average mid-terrace house costs under £400, with savings of just under £500 after five years, saving 415kg of carbon each year.

Upgrade your boiler

What you will spend: £2,500

How much you could save: £850

Boilers are improving in energy efficiency all the time. If you haven’t had a new boiler in the last 10 years, replacing it with a newer model could cost around £2,500, but you could save more than £850 on bills within five years if you’re in a mid-terrace house.

Not only that, a new boiler will reduce your household’s carbon footprint by 1.92 tonnes of CO2 every year.

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Replace your windows

What you will spend: £4,350

How much you could save: £850

Some 20 per cent of heat can be lost through standard windows. Invest in energy-efficient double-glazed windows to make savings of up to £850 in heating bills over five years, and 80kg of carbon per year.

Installation costs average out at around £4,250 for A-rated PVC windows in the average semi, compared to around £15,000 for A-rated hardwood windows.

Double glazed windows can reduce the CO2 emissions of a typical household by three quarters of a tonne every year.

Install solar panels

What you will spend: £4,800

How much you could save: £1,650

These days, an average solar set-up will cost £4,800 all-in, but if you’re a householder who is home all day, it’s estimated that a 3.5kW panel will save you £330 a year – that’s around £1,650 over a five-year period.

Not only that, but a typical solar panel also saves over 900kg of CO2 per year.

Most homes have upwards of 12 panels – that’s 10.8 tonnes of carbon saved every year, not to mention money paid back to you thanks to the smart export guarantee.

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Norton Finance estimates that by doing all of these, and choosing a boiler upgrade over solar panel installation, could save homeowners nearly £3,000 on energy bills within five years at today’s costs.

Swapping to solar panels could potentially save you almost £4,000 over the same five-year period.

Find out more about home improvement loans at www.nortonfinance.co.uk/loans/home-improvement-loans

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