Home Energy Efficiency

Home energy consumption accounts for 22% of the UK’s carbon emissions. On heating alone, the average home* produces 2,745kg or 1800 m3 of carbon dioxide per year. That means that, across East Hertfordshire alone, our homes pump a volume equivalent to ninety-four Wembley stadiums of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year.

Heating also accounts for half of our energy bills. Here’s how we can all save money on heating and general electricity bills and really contribute to reducing our carbon footprint.

*Average home = 3 bed semi

Energy saving tips

Our favourite low cost, big return energy saving tips:

  • Reduce home heating thermostat by 1 ˚ - Reducing the thermostat by 1 ˚ could save up to 25% of heating bills and associated carbon. Room temperatures of 21 ˚ and 18 ˚ in living and bedrooms are considered optimum for health and wellbeing. *
  • Switch energy supplier(s) to a green alternative – Switching energy suppliers has always been a great way to save money. Green energy has also significantly reduced in price and could save up to 1.5 tonnes of carbon per household. For further information please visit our Fuel Tariff Switching page.
  • Turn appliances off - Standby accounts for 8% of household energy consumption on average. Across the UK that wastes 2 power stations of electricity per year and produces 4 million tonnes of excess carbon.
  • Choose LED bulbs - These last 12,000hrs plus and use little energy. Typically an 8watt LED provides similar light levels to old style 60 watt light bulb. They reduce household energy costs by £100 p/a on average and have a 75% lower carbon footprint. Automatic light dimmers save 15% on top. Turning lights off when not in use remains the best solution.
  • Think ‘energy’ when bathing – Installing an energy efficient shower head uses up to 40% less hot water * A shower instead of a bath saves 20% on water, power and carbon. Turning the hot water thermometer down a little can also have a big impact. Free shower and general water saving kits are available from Affinity Water website and Thames Water website.
  • Zone and time your home heat - Bedrooms and living areas require temperature changes at different times of the day and night. Turning off radiators when not required reduces waste. Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs) rank 6th favourite for the BEIS and are eligible under the Green Homes Grant voucher scheme secondary measures
  • Eliminate drafts and wasted heat - Install a cheap, easy-to-fix brush or PVC seal on exterior doors and keep letterboxes and keyholes covered. Fill floorboard gaps and skirting boards with newspaper, beading or sealant. Fit thermal curtains to windows and doors.
  • Insulate hot water tank – A jacket for your tank costs as little as £15, takes minutes to install and can save £20 on heating and 150kg of carbon year on year. 
  • Insulate lofts and cavity walls – Up to a third of home heat is lost through our walls and roof. Our Home Insulation Guide provides some useful details on how to go about warming up your home. Our grants can also help towards the cost of insulation with contributions of up to £200 and £300 available for loft and cavity wall insulation respectively. For further information including how to apply please visit out Home Insulation Grants page.,>

*Taken from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) study into how much energy could be saved by making small changes to everyday behaviours. ,>,>,>,>

This 5 minute video from the Energy Savings Trust provides more tips on how to reduce home energy consumption that could save hundreds of pounds per year.

For larger money and carbon saving home improvement projects, please take a look at out sustainability grants, schemes and advice page.

Finally, there are an increasing number of online carbon footprint calculators for UK home use. Why not set yourself a measurable goal for 2021 to reduce your footprint while reducing costs.