grey box
Measures to reduce fuel bills ROI*
water tank insulation energy saving Lagging 1
loft insulation energy saving Loft Insulation 2
cavity wall insulation energy saving Cavity Wall Insulation 2.3
underfloor insulation energy saving Underfloor Insulation 4.4
solid wall insulation energy saving Solid Wall Insulation 15.8
solar energy energy saving Solar Hot Water 35
double glazing energy saving Double Glazing 58.1

*ROI is the time it takes in years to return the investment in fuel savings for an average gas heated 3 bed semi-detached house. The table assumes no government incentive schemes are used.

Renewable Energy Measures ROI**
ground source heat pump Heat Pumps
- Replacing Electric
4 to 8
ground source heat pump Heat Pumps
- Replacing LPG
120 to 239
wind power Wind Power 13 to 52
solar PV Solar Photovoltaics 23 to 60

**ROI is the time it takes in years to return the investment in electricity savings. The table assumes no government incentive schemes are used.

Money
Saving
Tips
 Energy 
Savings 
Each Year
 Money
Savings
Each Year
 CO2
Savings
Each Year
 Comments
dishwasher energy saving tips Dishwashers
Read More
30kWh -
90kWh
£4.62 -
£13.86

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11.01kg -
33.03kg
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Run the machine full and less often

boil less water in kettle energy saving tips Boiling Water
Read More
82kWh -
164kWh
£12.628 -
£25.256

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30.09kg -
60.19kg
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Boil only what you need. Savings depend on how much tea you drink!

fridge freezer energy saving tips Fridge Freezers
Read More
50kWh -
400kWh
£7.7 -
£61.6

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18.35kg -
146.8kg
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Fridge maintenance. Savings depend on size, age and rating

dmoney saving tips tumble drying Tumble Dryers
Read More
90kWh -
350kWh
£13.86 -
£53.9

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33.03kg -
128.45kg
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Operate Less often, clean filters, part dry clothes?

differnce in cost of shallow or deep bath Baths
Read More
700kWh -
1400kWh
£30.1 -
£215.6

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147kg -
513.8kg
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Have shallower baths and consider how you heat water

change energy supplier to save money Change Supplier
Read More
0kWh -
0kWh
£0 -
£500

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0 -
0
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save money and have a beerSwitch! This is the single simplest way of saving money. This is equivalent to 100 pints of beer!

shower or power shower which is cheaper Shower of Power Shower
Read More
120kWh -
1100kWh
£18.48 -
£242

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25.2kg -
403.7kg
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Aviod immersion heated power showers

save money and energy with good loft insulation Install Loft Insulation
Read More
3000kWh -
3750kWh
£129 -
£161.25

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630kg -
787.5kg
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Modern loft insulation in a 3 bed semi - these numbers are for Gas, savings are greater for other fuels

save money and energy with good loft insulation Improve Loft Insulation
Read More
1000kWh -
1500kWh
£43 -
£64.5

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210kg -
315kg
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Modern loft insulation in a 3 bed semi - these numbers are for Gas, savings are greater for other fuels

This table is under construction there are more tips here.

Household Energy Costs

Home insulation: What are the most effective forms of insulation and what provides the best return on investment.

Heat Loss from a house thick Loft Insulation install cavity wall insulation expensive double glazing under floor insulation lagging a hot water cylinder

Heating and Hot Water: How do different forms of heating and fuel compare?

hot water systems heating units central heating

Domestic Appliances: Guidance on the actual energy costs of and whether energy consumption should be a factor in your purchasing decision for new appliances.

Which Cooker Which Dish Washers Which Television Which Fridge Freezer Washing Machine Which Tumble Dryer Which Washer Dryer

Renewable Energy: Can enough energy be generated to meet your needs? What are the costs and most importantly what is the payback time on your investment?

Wind Turbine Solar cells Solar energy Ground Source Heat Pump

Energy Saving Tips: Practical advice on ways to save money and where you should focus your effort (and money) on making changes.

Energy Saver Lighting save Hot Water Electrical Appliances save energy save energy Cooking






Solid Wall Insulation

solid wall insulation investment
 Cost:  High
 ROI:  15.8 Years
 Skill:  Specialist
 Energy Saving:  High
 Priority:  Medium
 CO2 Saving:  High
 How much this measure costs to install: Low : Medium : High
 ROI is the time it takes to return the investment in fuel savings for an average gas heated 3 bed semi-detached house and assumes no government incentive schemes are used: Years
 How easy this is to do: DIY-Easy : DIY-Skilled : Specialist
 How much energy will be saved with this measure: Low : Medium : High
 What priority should be attached to this measure, this is based on the cost and ease with which it can be achieve togeteher with the savings in money and energy: Low : Medium : High
 How much Carbon Dioxide emission will be saved with this measure: Low : Medium : High

If you have a very old house with solid walls then you are losing a lot of heat through the walls. Solid walls transmit heat at, at least twice the rate that uninsulated cavity walls do. Throughout the heating and insulation section of this site an average house is used and assumes that the walls have cavities, such that a three bed house with no insulation measures, is approximated to use 20,000kWh per year and the 5 bed house is approximated to use 30,000kWh. With a solid wall house the starting point is higher about 20% higher. So for this section we will use the numbers 24,000kWh for the smaller house and 36,000kWh for the larger house for the calculations.

 

Solar Photovoltaic’s (Without FITS)

solar pv economics
 Cost:  High
 ROI:  23 Years (No FIT)
 Skill:  Specialist
 Energy Saving:  Medium
 Priority:  Low
 CO2 Saving:  Medium
 How much this measure costs to install: Low : Medium : High
 ROI is the time it takes to return the investment in fuel savings for an average gas heated 3 bed semi-detached house and assumes no government incentive schemes are used: Years
 How easy this is to do: DIY-Easy : DIY-Skilled : Specialist
 How much energy will be saved with this measure: Low : Medium : High
 What priority should be attached to this measure, this is based on the cost and ease with which it can be achieve togeteher with the savings in money and energy: Low : Medium : High
 How much Carbon Dioxide emission will be saved with this measure: Low : Medium : High

The terms solar energy and solar power are often used to describe technologies which collect the energy of the sun and redistribute it for our use. These terms are however a little ambiguous. For example, solar energy effectively drives our whole planet, wind, wave and fossil fuels could ultimately be regarded as solar energy.

 

Solar Hot Water

ROI
35-Years

What is Solar hot Water?

 

The terms solar energy and solar power are often used to describe technologies which collect the energy of the sun and redistribute it for our use.  These terms are however a little ambiguous.  For example, solar energy effectively drives our whole planet, wind, wave and fossil fuels could ultimately be regarded as solar energy.   For the purposes of this site our only concern is for solar energy that can be collected directly by our dwelling and used to, for example, heat water or to drive our electric devices.  For this article on solar thermal hot water is considered.  Please follow the link to take a look at Solar Photovoltaic’s

 

Wind Power (Without FITS)

ROI
13 to 52-Years
NB Please note this article only relates to wind systems installed and operated without the Feed-in Tariff government incentive scheme and only looks at the true economies of the technology. Please refer to the energy saving trust for the latest on The FITs scheme as they do make a significant difference making wind power economically viable.

This article is only concerned with wind turbines that can be sensibly added to a residential home.  Unlike other forms of renewable energy, wind power requires very little explanation.  Most of us will understand that the wind rotates a wind turbine generating electricity.    The question addressed here is how effective are they and are they worth the investment.  To work out how much energy you may generate you need to know how windy it is in your area, and there are several resource on the internet to do this, just do a Google search, or have a look the site by the  Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform (BERR) it has a good resource for this, please follow the following  link.

 

Heat Pumps

ROI
4 to 239 -Years




For those interested it operates in a similar way to a refrigerator working in reverse, it works on the principle of the vapour compression cycle within the pump.  There is a volatile fluid known as a refrigerant. The refrigerant in the evaporator is heated by the heat source this causes it to turn into a gas. The gas then passes through the compressor; the compressor increases its pressure and causes its temperature to rise. The hot gas then moves to the condenser where it is condensed back into a liquid and in doing so it releases heat into the house via a distribution system. The refrigerant is then allowed to expand back to a low pressure through the expansion valve and pass back to the evaporator where it repeats the cycle in a closed loop.

What are they?

There are three main types, these are:-

  • Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP),
  • Water Source Heat Pump (WSHP), and
  • Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP)

They function by extracting heat from the ground the water or the air respectively and releasing that heat energy at a higher temperature within a building.   All heat pumps consume energy usually in the form of electricity to operate the pump that is required to transfer the heat.  They can supply all the heating you would require, and ground source systems are the most effective.  To compare the performance of heat pump the term coefficient of performance is used (COP) and it described the ratio of heat movement to energy input.  In the table below the Best Average COP is used.  This a seasonal average, since air source and water source vary in performance with the temperature of the environment.  For ground source the underground temperature is however remarkably constant all year.

It should also be noted that you will need a reasonable amount of land for an effective GSHP, unless you drill down, and for a water source heat pump a body of water is essential!

 

Underfloor Insulation

underfloor insulation great way to save energy
 Cost:  Low
 ROI:  4.4 Years
 Skill:  DIY Skilled
 Energy Saving:  Medium
 Priority:  High
 CO2 Saving:  Medium
 How much this measure costs to install: Low : Medium : High
 ROI is the time it takes to return the investment in fuel savings for an average gas heated 3 bed semi-detached house and assumes no government incentive schemes are used: Years
 How easy this is to do: DIY-Easy : DIY-Skilled : Specialist
 How much energy will be saved with this measure: Low : Medium : High
 What priority should be attached to this measure, this is based on the cost and ease with which it can be achieve togeteher with the savings in money and energy: Low : Medium : High
 How much Carbon Dioxide emission will be saved with this measure: Low : Medium : High

If you have timber floors, mineral wool insulation* can be used between the joists to insulate your floor. Assuming this is the only insulation measure installed in your house you can reduce the amount of heat loss through your floor by about a half and can therefore reduce your energy bill by about 7 or 8%.

 

Double Glazing

double glazing bad investment just to save energy
 Cost:  High
 ROI:  58.1 Years
 Skill:  Specialist
 Energy Saving:  Medium
 Priority:  low
 CO2 Saving:  Medium
 How much this measure costs to install: Low : Medium : High
 ROI is the time it takes to return the investment in fuel savings for an average gas heated 3 bed semi-detached house and assumes no government incentive schemes are used: Years
 How easy this is to do: DIY-Easy : DIY-Skilled : Specialist
 How much energy will be saved with this measure: Low : Medium : High
 What priority should be attached to this measure, this is based on the cost and ease with which it can be achieve togeteher with the savings in money and energy: Low : Medium : High
 How much Carbon Dioxide emission will be saved with this measure: Low : Medium : High

Replacing your windows with double glazing to just save money does not actually make a lot of sense, you will reduce heat flow through you windows by at least a half and again assuming this is the only insulation measure installed in your house you should reduce you overall energy bill by between 5% and 10%. For the smaller 3 bed house assuming you save the maximum 10% of your heating costs you should save £70 each year if you are gas heated and if it cost about £5000 to install the windows the investment will payback in about 70 years.

 

Heat Loss

 

Introduction

If you have thermostatically controlled heating in your home, and most of us do, then your boiler will be controlled by the temperature measured in a heat lossparticular area in your home i.e. where the thermostat is placed! Regardless of how well insulated you home is the boiler will burn fuel and supply heat to your radiators until the temperature set on this thermostat is reached, before switching itself off. This does not mean that all of the rooms in the house are at the main thermostat temperature, their temperature will be dependent on the heat loss from the room, the radiator heat output of each room and the individual radiator thermostat (if you have them fitted). So the more you can do the reduce heat loss from your home the more rapidly the desired temperature will be reached and the earlier the boiler will switch off, ultimately reducing the amount of fuel you burn and amount you pay.

 

Cookers

oven energy costsmoneyInformation on the energy consumption and running costs of cooking appliances is not readily available. Energy efficiency labelling is in place for electric ovens but not for gas ovens. Also there are no energy labels for hobs, either electric or gas. So if you are choosing a new cooker, how can you assess likely running costs and are differences in running costs sufficient to influence your purchasing decision? Below are some tips to help you.

 

Hot Water Systems

money and hot watermoney

We cover here only spontaneous water heaters, they are generally fueled by either natural gas or electricity; however there are some units on the market using LPG, especially for caravan applications there are units that use butane or propane in gas cylinders.

 

Dishwashers

dish washer running costsmoneyDishwashers carry an EU energy label which rates products from A-G for energy efficiency, cleaning performance and drying performance. The vast majority of products are at least A rated for energy.

 

Televisions

cost to run a television for 1 hour

The running costs of TVs vary greatly depending on a number of factors:-

 

Loft Insulation

loft insulation good investment save money
 Cost:  Low
 ROI:  2 Years
 Skill:  DIY-Skilled
 Energy Saving:  High
 Priority:  High
 CO2 Saving:  High
 How much this measure costs to install: Low : Medium : High
 ROI is the time it takes to return the investment in fuel savings for an average gas heated 3 bed semi-detached house and assumes no government incentive schemes are used: Years
 How easy this is to do: DIY-Easy : DIY-Skilled : Specialist
 How much energy will be saved with this measure: Low : Medium : High
 What priority should be attached to this measure, this is based on the cost and ease with which it can be achieve togeteher with the savings in money and energy: Low : Medium : High
 How much Carbon Dioxide emission will be saved with this measure: Low : Medium : High

Since heat rises it follows that heat loss through the roof is a large contributor to energy waste in your house. By installing modern 290mm thick insulation in your loft space you could save up to 25% of your heating bill but perhaps more realistically by 20%. By upgrading old thin insulation you may also be able to save an additional 7 or 8% of you bill.

 

Cavity Wall Insulation

install cavity wall insulation save energy and money
 Cost:  Medium
 ROI:  2.3 Years
 Skill:  Specialist
 Energy Saving:  High
 Priority:  Medium
 CO2 Saving:  High
 How much this measure costs to install: Low : Medium : High
 ROI is the time it takes to return the investment in fuel savings for an average gas heated 3 bed semi-detached house and assumes no government incentive schemes are used: Years
 How easy this is to do: DIY-Easy : DIY-Skilled : Specialist
 How much energy will be saved with this measure: Low : Medium : High
 What priority should be attached to this measure, this is based on the cost and ease with which it can be achieve togeteher with the savings in money and energy: Low : Medium : High
 How much Carbon Dioxide emission will be saved with this measure: Low : Medium : High

If you have cavities in your walls which are not already filled with insulation then you have a great opportunity to save quite a lot of money. Most household heat is lost through the walls and anything to slow this down helps. The story is similar to loft insulation, you can reduce your energy bill for heating by up to 25%, but again more realistically 20%. The table below calculates the effect of only insulating your cavities considering several main household fuels and estimates a payback time for the investment. For a larger house cavity wall insulation will cost £550 and for the smaller house about £400.

 

Tumble Dryers

washer dryer running costsmoney Drying your clothes in a tumble dryer can be expensive as they consume large amounts of energy. The EU energy label for tumble dryers is calculated using the cotton drying cycle with a maximum load. Products are rated A – G according to the energy required per kilogramme of washing.

 

Fridge Freezer

fridge freezer energy consumptionmoneyFridges and freezers are switched on 24 hours a day 7 days a week so running costs are high. All new fridges and freezers carry an EU energy efficiency rating from A++ (the most efficient) to G (the least efficient). The vast majority of products are at least A rated. However for refrigeration products the rating is not based on actual energy consumption but the energy efficiency in relation to size (the internal volume of the compartments).

 

Lagging

enery savings by lagging your hot water cylinder
 Cost:  Low
 ROI:  1 Year
 Skill:  DIY-Easy
 Energy Saving:  Medium
 Priority:  High
 CO2 Saving:  Medium
 How much this measure costs to install: Low : Medium : High
 ROI is the time it takes to return the investment in fuel savings for an average gas heated 3 bed semi-detached house and assumes no government incentive schemes are used: Years
 How easy this is to do: DIY-Easy : DIY-Skilled : Specialist
 How much energy will be saved with this measure: Low : Medium : High
 What priority should be attached to this measure, this is based on the cost and ease with which it can be achieve togeteher with the savings in money and energy: Low : Medium : High
 How much Carbon Dioxide emission will be saved with this measure: Low : Medium : High

It is fairly obvious that hot water pipes and hot water storage cylinders should be insulated to prevent heat loss. Newer cylinders already have insulation pre fitted, but if your tank is older and un-insulated then according to the Energy Savings Trust by fitting a hot water jacket you will save about £50 per year. Your savings would be even more however if you regularly use an electrical immersion heater, since it costs a lot more to heat water with electricity.

Given that a new thick jacket (75mm) for a hot water tank costs about £15, it should pay for itself in less than six months. Even upgrading an old thinner jacket, is worth considering and will pay back the investment in about 2 years.

This energy/money saving measure is almost a must do. Even if you are renting off a landlord who is too tight fisted to put a jacket on the cylinder, you could buy one and take it with you when you leave!

Insulating hot water pipes will save you less, possibly £10 per year but DIY installation is very easy and materials will only cost about £10. So it will only take a year to payback this investment.

 

Washing Machines

washing machiune runnning costs money

For washing machines the energy efficiency scale is calculated using a cotton cycle at 60°C (140°F) with a maximum declared load. This load is typically 6 kg. The energy efficiency index is in kWh per kilogramme of washing.

 

Washer Dryers

washing machine energy to operateWasher dryers are regarded as a separate category on the energy efficiency scale to ordinary washersand so an A rated washer dryer cannot be compared with an A rated washing machine. The energy consumption figures are based on a full wash and dry cycle with a maximum load. The table below shows the costs of using the wash cycle only or the full wash and dry cycle on a typical washer dryer machine.

 

Central Heating

central heating cost comparisonsmoneyGenerally central heating is the most energy and cost efficient way of heating a home, particularly those systems using fuels that are burned in a boiler. It is also very often one of those areas where you have the least control. Factors outside of your control may include:-

 

Heating Units

cost of running heatersmoneyThe number of methods to provide heating to your accommodations is enormous.  This article compares the potential running costs of various methods of heating. It excludes larger heating systems, like central heating, groundsource heating or airsource heating as these are very different and require large capital expenditure to install. These are considered in a separate article.

To get a meaningful comparison, the same power output and hence the same energy use is used in each case. The calculations are based on each heater having a power output of 3kW, and operating for 5 hours a day for about one third of a year. 3kW was chosen since this is the maximum power output of an electrical heater on a single ring main plug socket and since all the other appliances can out put the same heat power. All appliances are also assumed to be non thermostatically controlled, i.e no maximum room temperature has been set. The rate of heat loss from a room is also not considered here.

 

Overall Household Energy Use

overall household energy use and costsIt is important to get overall household energy use into perspective to understand where to cut costs and when to invest in new equipment.

 


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