Energy bills are expected to rise again in January when the price cap increases by a further 20 percent. While many households have already taken measures to improve energy efficiency in the home, there’s always more that can be done to trap heat in your property. Insulation is just one proven method to do this, and an expert at Knauf Insulation has shared the best types to invest in if you’re working with a smaller budget. Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Jo Callow revealed her top recommendations to “permanently lower bills”.
She said: “A lot of people are looking for ‘quick wins’ to make their home warmer and save energy. Things like thicker curtains and draught excluders can help, although it’s really important you keep your home well-ventilated, or it can lead to problems with mould.
“The best way to permanently reduce your energy bills is to make your home more energy efficient, and the best way to do that is to make sure it’s properly insulated. When it’s fitted well, insulation is like a blanket for your home. It means you use less energy to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.”
One of Jo’s best tips was to obey the notion that heat rises, and “start at the top” when planning out where to focus your money-saving efforts, particularly if you’re in one of the staggering eight million homes in the UK with “inadequate” loft insulation.
While it can be a costly task, there are schemes available to help, just speak to your energy company or landlord if you’re in a housing association property.
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Top it up
Improving energy efficiency doesn’t always have to mean starting from scratch, in fact, it can be just as effective to “top up” what you already have in your home.
Jo said: “Building regulations state that insulation should be at least 270mm deep (350mm in Scotland), but many new homes are being built with 400–500mm of loft insulation. If your loft has less than this, you’ll probably benefit from adding extra layers.”
According to the Energy Saving Trust, one-quarter of the heat in your home is lost through the roof where there is no insulation, so there are significant savings that can be made by installing it. The Trust estimated that just 0-270mm of loft insulation could save a gas-heated detached property £590 per year, £355 for a semi-detached, £330 for a mid-terrace house, and £590 for a detached bungalow.
On average, topping up to between 120-270mm can save billpayers living in a detached property an extra £55 per year, £35 in a semi-detached home, £30 in a mid-terrace house and £55 in a detached bungalow.
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According to the Energy Saving Trust, a typical three-bedroom detached home should expect to spend £950 or more for cavity wall insulation, though they can expect annual savings of around £395.
If your home was built before the 1920s, its external walls are probably solid walls rather than cavity walls.
Solid walls have no gap, so they can’t be filled with cavity wall insulation, though they can be insulated in other ways.
Jo explained that this is done either internally or externally, though it typically costs a lot more than loft or cavity wall insulation methods.
She said: “Your energy supplier’s scheme may cover this if there’s no other option to make your home more efficient. They’ll affect either the external appearance or the amount of internal space you have, but that’s a small price to pay for a home that’s warmer and more affordable to run.”
With solid wall insulation, the Energy Saving Trust estimated that a gas-heated detached property in England, Scotland or Wales could save a staggering £930 per year.
Billpayers living in a semi-detached home could save £540, £315 in a mid-terrace house and as much as £420 in a bungalow.
The Trust added that even a mid-floor flat can benefit from solid wall insulation, with estimated annual savings of £240.