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EST ranks insulation as the top way to save on energy

The Energy Saving Trust releases new figures on home insulation, finding that the biggest savings come with solid wall insulation.

EST ranks insulation as top energy saverTopping out at £490 a year in savings, energy-efficiency measures like external wall insulation can make a big difference in bills.

Basing the research on a typical, three-bedroom, semi-detached and gas-heated home, EST found the following savings per year:

Internal wall insulation = £460

Replacing G-rated boiler with A-rated boiler = £310

Loft insulation = £180

Draught-proofing windows/doors = £30

“Home insulation is the single most effective method of saving money on domestic energy bills, with savings continuing year on year,” stated  Neil Marshall, Chief Executive of the National Insulation Association. “By installing insulation householders will also be protecting against future energy bill rises.”

Rising bills on the horizon

Protection against ever-rising costs of heating homes has been at the forefront of consumers’ concerns after OBR revised its prediction for energy-bill increase this  month. The Office for Budget Responsibility now states the average energy bill will rise by 7% to £1,519 per year.

Also in March, Ofgem announced that energy bills were at a record high. Energy bills have been rising at a rate of five times the average household income. Energy suppliers dispute the figures behind Ofgem’s claim, yet many households still find themselves categorised as in “fuel poverty”, with seven in 10 occasionally going without heat for financial reasons.

Help in gaining energy efficiency

Those hard-pressed to pay their bills may also be unable to afford the costly upgrades that will make their homes more energy efficient. That could be where the Green Deal, launched this year, steps in. The Green Deal is the government back loan scheme that allows homeowners and renters to get upgrades like insulation and new boilers now, and pay the charges back over time on their energy bills.

Though some criticised the Green Deal’s interest rates, the project operates under the “golden rule” that energy upgrade costs must not surpass energy savings. That is, the monthly cost to pay back the energy-efficient-upgrade loan must not be more than the amount the household is saving off their energy bill each month.

Since its launch, the DECC reports that more than 1,800 home assessments have been completed, and £26.9m worth of contracts put through the Green Deal system in the first two months.