Whether it is due to the impact on the environment or trying to keep your energy bills from rocketing, energy-saving is at the forefront of many of our minds. Wasting (and paying for) energy in our homes is catastrophic for the environment and, especially due to the predicted rise in energy prices, very worrying for people all over the country.
When it comes to measuring the energy efficiency of a property, there are several factors that are examined – including whether the house has been insulated and whether any renewable energy sources are being used. Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are assessments that are carried out when the occupancy of a property change. They look at a range of different factors and give the property an EPC rating of between ‘A’ and ‘G’.
The EPC rating of a property is a great way to understand how energy efficient it is, enabling you to take steps to raise its rating, become more energy-efficient, help the environment, and reduce energy bills.
Insulation is a very effective way to improve your EPC rating, but there are other ways that technology can be used to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
A great way to reduce the amount of fossil fuel that you are using, improve your energy rating – and save yourself money, is by creating your own energy from renewable sources. In the UK, the most effective ways to create your own energy are through wind turbines and solar panels that are installed on the roof of your house.
Photovoltaic solar panels convert the energy from the sunlight into energy that can be used in your house and sometimes sold back into the energy system if there is any leftover.
LED lights are effective for energy saving in the home for two reasons. The first is that they do not produce much heat – unlike conventional lightbulbs. This means that less energy is used up creating heat and more on the light. LED bulbs also last for longer than conventional lightbulbs, creating less waste in general.
In the UK, thermostats are necessary to ensure that our houses are warm enough for us to live in. Older thermostats, however, can mean that high amounts of energy is wasted, heating up rooms with nobody in them and at times when nobody is home. For this reason, a smart thermostat can be very useful.
A smart thermostat can be programmed to turn on and off according to you and your family’s routine. This means, for example, that you can heat only the rooms where you are. You can also time it to come on just before your get home, meaning that your home will not be heated up when there is no-one there.
Smart meters do not, themselves, save energy. What they do do, however, is give you knowledge. They can help you to monitor your own energy use, and, armed with this knowledge, help you to find ways to reduce the amount that you are using. Smart meters not only tell you how much energy you are using in terms of the amount of power that you are using, but also how this relates financially, indicating how much you will be billed.
With this information, you can then go on to look for energy-saving measures such as turning off appliances when they are not in use (instead of leaving them on standby) or turning your thermostat down 1°C and seeing the difference that this make both in terms of your energy use and how much you are spending on it.
Low Energy Appliances
Some of the biggest consumers of energy within the home are appliances such as fridges, freezers, and washing machines. Technology has now enabled us to produce appliances that consume much lower amounts of energy compared to their older models. By buying these modern, more efficient appliances, you can help to reduce the amount of energy that you are using at home.
Appliances have an energy label attached to them when they are for sale. This will display an energy rating of between ‘A’ and ‘G’ – with ‘A’ being the most energy-efficient compared to other appliances in its class.
When an EPC is carried out, the assessor will also give you recommendations about how to improve the energy efficiency of your property. These will normally be improvements such as cavity wall and loft insulation, and these, together with the technological options above can really begin to make a difference both to the planet and to your own energy bills.