Winter retrofitting: UK solution to inefficient housing and expensive energy
Homeowners looking to cut costs and improve energy efficiency are being offered tips on retrofitting.
As temperatures drop, experts from Quotezone.co.uk have revealed six useful tips to improve energy efficiency and protect your home from cold weather.
With the majority of the housing stock built before 1919, the UK has some of the oldest and least efficient housing in Europe.*
Retrofitting is the process of adding new features to existing systems to improve energy efficiency and, with winter energy price hikes imminent, it is a popular solution to cut costs.
Common retrofit renovations include embracing renewable technologies and insulating the property adequately.
Homeowners can also make smaller and cheaper changes to reduce bills and increase efficiency such as installing a smart meter and investing in energy-efficient appliances.
“Unfortunately, many UK properties have outdated infrastructure and lower energy efficiency which makes the winter months challenging and expensive.
“Retrofitting is about working with what you’ve got and making improvements to the existing structure, and it’s not just old homes that could benefit.
“Just 1.8% of new homes meet the top efficiency rating in the UK which has a direct impact on energy performance and costs.**
“Retrofitting doesn’t need to be expensive – there are many small changes homeowners can make at no or little cost like dressing windows with thermal blinds and heavy curtains, applying for a smart meter and regularly checking you’re on the best tariffs.
“The more expensive changes are smart investments for the long term – such as whole-home insulations and smart home technologies which will ultimately reduce bills and emissions for years to come – check to see what government support and grants are available in your area to help with major changes.”
Here are Quotezone.co.uk’s top retrofit tips to reduce energy costs in the winter:
1. Smart meter
Install a smart meter to fully understand usage. This will show the appliances which cost a lot to run and those which use minimal energy so you can act accordingly. It’ll also help you identify the worst offenders on standby so you can be sure to switch them off completely.
2. Window Treatments
Adequate insulation is vital for retaining heat, and investing in thick, heavy curtains or thermal blinds will act as an extra layer of insulation. Making sure the windows are completely shut and sealed to prevent cold drafts is also important.
3. Appliances and lighting
Swap outdated appliances and lighting for more energy-efficient alternatives. Lighting has a relatively low cost to change, the savings will start instantly, and the bulbs last a lot longer.
Insulating the home will keep it warmer during the winter when the heating is on, therefore more efficient and cheaper to run. Even pipe insulation can prevent freezing and reduce heat loss, as well as using rugs and carpets on cold floors.
5. Energy tariff comparisons
Carry out regular price comparisons to check you’re on the best tariff. This doesn’t always mean switching suppliers but rather negotiating a better deal for yourself.
6. Weather sealing and stripping
Installing bits of material around doors and windows to seal them when closed will prevent drafts and block cold air from entering the home – under door draft excluders are around £5 each and the same for a roll of window sealant tape.
7. Smart home tech
Smart home technology can be integrated into homes as a modern retrofit alternative. Examples of this include thermostats which allow homeowners to control the heat setting remotely to optimise energy use and Wi-Fi fridges and laundry appliances that give you more control.
This article is intended as generic information only and is not intended to apply to anybody’s specific circumstances, demands or needs. The views expressed are not intended to provide any financial service or to give any recommendation or advice. Products and services are only mentioned for illustrative rather than promotional purposes.