Home hacks to cut your carbon footprint

Written by Lori Campbell on 14th Oct 2021

The alarming rise in energy prices in recent weeks is yet another incentive to reduce the amount of energy we use. One way to do this is by making energy-saving improvements to your home – and they’re not all as costly as you might think.

Norton Finance has ranked the top six most cost-effective ways the average mid-terrace householder could save on energy bills AND carbon emissions after five years.


1. Draught-proofing

Draught-proofing is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to save energy and money.  DIY draught-proofing starts at under £3 for a roll of self-adhesive draught-excluding tape. Block up unwanted gaps around windows, doors and chimneys that let cold air in and warm air out. Doing this could save around £215 on fuel after five years.

What you’ll spend: £3

What you’ll save: £215


2. Roof insulation

Just like going out in cold weather without a hat, as much as a quarter of heat can be lost if your roof isn’t insulated. The loft of a mid-terrace house costs around £285 to insulate with 270mm insulation, saving you as much as £500 on bills after five years. You’ll also reduce your carbon footprint by about 530kg every year.

What you’ll spend: £285

What you’ll save: £500


3. Wall insulation

Around a third of heat is lost through the walls of uninsulated houses. The age of your home will usually determine the type of walls you have, and this in turn affects the cost of insulation.

Solid walls let twice as much heat escape as cavity walls. While insulating solid walls can be more expensive, the savings on your heating bills will also be bigger. Insulating the walls of an average mid-terrace house costs under £400, with savings of just under £500 after five years, and 415kg of carbon avoided each year.

What you’ll spend: £400

What you’ll save: £500


4. Upgrade your boiler

Boilers are improving in energy efficiency all the time. If you haven’t had a new boiler in the last 10 years, replacing it with a newer model could cost around £2500, but you could save more than £850 on bills within five years if you’re in a mid-terrace house. Not only that, a new boiler will reduce your household’s carbon footprint by a whopping 1.92 tonnes of CO2 every year.

What you’ll spend: £2500

What you’ll save: £850

5. Get double glazing

A fifth of heat can be lost through standard windows. Invest in energy-efficient double-glazed windows to make savings of up to £850 in heating bills over five years, and 80kg of carbon per year. Plus, you’ll be sure to enjoy the peace and quiet that goes along with double glazing.

Installation costs average out at around £4,250 for A-rated PVC windows in the average semi, compared to around £15,000 for A-rated hardwood windows. Double glazed windows can reduce the CO2 emissions of a typical household by three quarters of a tonne every year.

What you’ll spend: £4250

What you’ll save:  £850


6. Install solar panels

These days, an average solar set-up will cost £4,800 all-in. But if you’re a householder who’s home all day, it’s estimated that a 3.5kW panel will save you £330 a year – that’s a staggering £1650 in five years. Not only that, but a typical solar panel also saves over 10.8 tonnes of CO2 per year. Most homes have upwards of 12 panels; that’s 10.8 tonnes of carbon saved every year, not to mention money paid back to you thanks to the smart export guarantee.

What you’ll spend: £4800

What you’ll save:  £1650


Do all of these (choosing a boiler upgrade over solar panels) and you could save nearly £3000 on your fuel bills within five years at today’s costs. Swap to solar panels and you’re looking at almost £4000 saved.

If you need help with covering initial costs, you could consider a home improvement loan from Norton Finance.


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