Spending large amounts of money on ways to save energy can be daunting, but the rewards can be significant.
As well as savings on your gas and electricity bills, in many cases, spending money on energy-saving in your home will also improve your property value.
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From replacing an old boiler, to considering whether to generate your own alternative energy such as through wind power, here's some advice on how to make sure that your investment is worthwhile.
1. Energy-saving glazing
Installing double glazing could save you around £130 a year on your heating bills.
Double glazing traps air between two panes of glass. This creates an insulating barrier which means that heat loss reduces, as well as noise and condensation.
Find out more about window insulation.
2. Insulating solid walls
Though there are grants available for insulating cavity walls, grants for insulating solid walls are harder to find. A typical investment in insulation for solid walls might come to about £1,500.
You can either insulate your walls with external or internal insulation. In this case, the savings are significant; you could save around £320 a year on your energy bills.
Find out more about wall insulation types.
3. A wind turbine
Depending on the location of your home, and the level of wind you are exposed to, a wind turbine could be a smart investment for your property - a successful wind turbine may even make you enough energy to sell back to the grid.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, "recent monitoring of a range of small domestic wind systems has shown that a well sited 6kW turbine could generate around 10,000kWh per year which is equivalent to around 5.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. A system this size could generate income and savings of around £3,200 a year when eligible."
Learn more about renewable energy.
4. A new boiler
Heating and hot water account for around 60% of what you spend on energy bills per year, so getting an efficient boiler can make a huge difference to your expenses.
At the moment, boilers are said to have a lifespan of about 12 years, and since October 2010 any new boiler installed has to be A-rated, or at least 88% efficient.
On average, a new replacement gas boiler could cost anywhere between £1,500 and £2,500. Remember to always get three different quotes as costs for labour, installation and parts can vary considerably.
5. Solar panels
You might think that solar panels aren't an option with a budget of £2500 or less, but it's not the case.
With companies like HomeSun, you can get free solar panels or pay as little as £500, plus £5 a month for them.
You can also buy small-scale DIY solar panel packages to install yourself for £900-£2000. You can't use these with a Feed-in Tariff (to take advantage of FiT, the system has to be professionally installed and hooked up to the Grid) but they could generate power to use around the house or in a garage, workshop, caravan etc...
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