On gorgeous days like today thoughts of keeping warm at winter may feel like a long way off, but with the announcement of energy prices sharply rising, now is exactly the time to start making plans.
Thinkinsulation.com is urging home owners to urgently review the energy saving measures in their homes following news that British Gas have raised their energy prices for customers, coupled with Npower’s announcement, that gas bills will increase by an average of by 15.7% and electricity prices by 7.2%, with effect from 1st October 2011. The news that the fifth of the major suppliers has increased its fuel prices for a second time this year has highlighted that homeowners must act now to prevent sky high energy bills.
This price increase from one of the UK’s leading energy firms will see the average direct debit dual-fuel customer’s annual bill rise by 12.2%, up by an additional £134 per year. With just EDF left to announce changes to their tariffs, homeowners need to take all precautions necessary to ensure that energy bills are kept to a minimum this winter.
Lydia Sharples from thinkinsulation.com comments: “Price hikes are a stark reality and it’s no wonder that homeowners are concerned after the rises earlier this year. Although we have no control over the strength of the gas market or the price of fuel in the UK, there are changes that all homeowners can make to counter increased energy prices.”
She continues: “Ensuring your property is comprehensively insulated is one way to reduce heat loss – a simple job such as insulating a loft to the correct standards will dramatically reduce energy consumption and can save you around £145 per year on energy bills. Furthermore insulating your walls can save you as much as £385 on your annual fuel bills.”
To maximise return on your green investment Thinkinsulation.com recommends taking the following simple measures. And don’t forget to visithttp://www.direct.gov.uk/en/index.htm to see if you’re eligible for financial help.
1. Insulate your loft - About 25% of heat in an un-insulated house escapes through the roof. Loft insulation is cheap to buy and easy to install and the job can be completed yourself in a day. As already mentioned, it has financial benefits too because insulating your loft can save you around £145* a year on your energy bills.
Tip: Opt for loft insulation with strong eco credentials and great thermal performance. Space Insulation is a range of energy saving loft insulation products. The glass mineral wool insulation products in the range are made from recycled glass bottles and are odourless, free from dyes and bleaches and easy to handle.
2. Insulate your walls
Cavity wall insulation - If your house was built after the 1920s it is likely to have cavity walls. If these aren’t insulated, you can arrange for a professional to complete the work in a day. Cavity wall insulation pays for itself in around two years, and it will typically save around 15 per cent – or £110∞ a year – on your home’s fuel bills.
Tip: A specialist should always be sought to complete this type of work – ensure that you choose an installer that is Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency (CIGA) qualified. Don’t forget to ask for home assessment to assess suitability of your property before any work begins.
Solid wall insulation - Older houses built before 1920 often have solid walls and are more expensive to insulate, but also cost more to heat. Around 7 million solid wall properties in the UK are un-insulated but with potential fuel bill savings starting at around £365 a year, solid wall insulation is definitely worth considering.
Tip: If your external walls need work anyway, then it could be an ideal time to have external wall insulation fitted. Alternatively, if your home is soon to be undergoing interior refurbishment then internal wall insulation may be more suitable.
3. Fit double glazing – Old single glazed windows can often be a major source of heat loss. Double glazed windows will not only keep the heat in but they will reduce noise, improving your level of comfort.
Tip: Make sure the windows you choose carry a BFRC label which indicates a good energy efficiency rating.
4. Draught proof gaps - If you have poorly sealed windows and doors you may be losing a significant amount of heat through the gaps. Draught proofing is a simple and inexpensive DIY measure and by keeping warm air indoors you’ll need less energy to heat your home and can save money on your fuel bills.
Tip: Although draught proofing is a simple DIY job that can be done at home, it can be more complicated if you have older property. If this is the case it may be wise to call in a professional. Costs start at around £100.
For more information and advice about cutting carbon emissions in the home visit thinkinsulation.com.