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Exterior of brick manor house

Can you afford the bills for your dream home?

Now more than ever people are longing for a more spacious home. City dwellers have found their garden-less flats stifling as working and living in the same space has become the new norm. So as we’ve been stuck inside over the past few months, many of us have been dreaming about our ideal home. 

The temptation to up-sticks to a larger dwelling seems to be growing across the nation, but are we aware of the hidden costs of living? We’ve looked at the shocking bill costs associated with some of the UK's most lavish homes. While you may be able to get a five-bedroom house in the sticks for the same price as your modern city flat, could you afford to keep a larger house warm in the winter?

Here are some examples of country homes and their bills:

  • 4 bedroom manor house in Witherslack, Cumbria built in 1740

    • Estimated annual energy bill: £4,995

  • 7 bedroom manor house in Calverham

    • Estimated annual energy bill: £4,986

  • 3 bedroom 16th-century manor house in Bacton, Norwich

    • Estimate annual energy bill: £4,245

How to calculate the energy bills of your dream home:

You'll need to know the size of the property in square meters and if your home is new, modern or old. New = 100, modern = 150, old = 200.

Gas bill: (size of property in square meters) X new/modern/old X 0.0417 + 93.39 = £annual gas bill

Electric bill: (size of property in square meters) X 6.24 + 87.48 = £annual electric bill

Thankfully there are many ways to mitigate the higher energy costs associated with lavish homes. Here are 6 tips anyone can apply:

  • Turn down your thermostat by 1oC (which can save regular households up to £80 a year).

  • Keep pools and hot tubs covered. Keeping the heat trapped underneath the cover of a swimming pool or hot tub means you’ll have to spend less energy heating them up again.

  • Run cold washes in the washing machine. Washing your clothes at 30 degrees rather than 40 can save you a third on your washing bills.

  • Use energy-saving light bulbs. A lot of electricity is used in lighting your home especially if you have lots of rooms! But you can use less energy by investing in specific energy-saving light bulbs.

  • Insulate the loft. A quarter of your home’s heat is lost through the roof as warm air rises, and older properties that already have insulation in place may not have the recommended levels.

  • Compare gas and electricity prices with Uswitch to make sure you're on the cheapest tariff for you. It only takes a few minutes, it's free and you could save hundreds.

Not only will you be doing your wallet a favour, you’ll also be helping the planet with a lot of these methods. UK homes emit 2.7 tonnes of CO2 each year just for heating so it's a good idea to wrap up warm as much as possible. But despite higher energy costs associated with larger homes, the extra space and luxuries may well just be worth it.